Nonpartisan Defined. Objective, not supporting or controlled by a political party, special interest group, or the like.
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection,
we can catch excellence” – Vince Lombardi
The Short Version
- Support for a Common Vision – The community working together to make things better where actions result in outcomes where everyone gains, or at least, are not any worse off.
- Say what you are going to do, do what you say
- Plans and Planning
- Be open, honest, and communicate
- Apply collaborative problem solving and decision-making processes
The Longer Version
1. Common Vision – The community working together towards the ideal of a more perfect (better) Union and County where actions result in outcomes where everyone gains or at least, are not any worse off in the long-term. To meet this expectation, answers are needed for at least two questions:
- How do all citizens (stakeholders) define more perfect or better?
- What feedback do citizens need to assess that any changes are resulting in improvement?
2. “Say what you are going to do, do what you say”
A “plan” is a written account of the intended future course of action (scheme) aimed at achieving the specific goal (s) or objective (s) within a specific timeframe. It explains in detail what needs to be done, when, how, and by whom.
3. Plans and Planning. Policies and plans identify what citizens want and do not want in terms of government services, economic, and community development. Ensure that these requirements are documented in plans.
- County Comprehensive Plan 2012 and Draft 1993 Plan.
- The 1993 Plan references a focus on villages and hamlets. The Helmsburg Revitalization plan provides an example of the local community taking a leadership role in addressing their opportunities and challenges. SHould this be the example for other non-incorporated areas?
- Wastewater treatment – assessment and strategy?
- County policy and strategy for logging county-owned land?
- Tourism Strategy – what is the balance?
- Fire Protection?
- Road and Bridge Maintenance Plans?
- Economic Development Strategic Plan (WIP)
- Financial Decision Support Models – Are models being used to support projections regarding trends in revenue, costs, and need for tax increases?
- Do strategies identify goals for creating opportunities that lead to livable wages?
- State Tax Returns — Income Trends by Category 1999 – 2016 – Downward trend of those making under $50K and an upward trend of those making more than $50K. What is the impact of these trends?
- Financial Plans:
- County Five-Year (minimum) financial plans and budgets ? Example Nashville, IN
- 10-Year (minimum) capital improvement plan and budget that identifies the funded and unfunded requirements?
- Review of internal controls as required by the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) ?
- Tax Policy – Current policy is high-income tax rate and low property tax rate. Is this still the right policy for the county?
- Performance Plans:
- Simplified county version — five-year strategic and performance plans modeled on the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) ?
- Education and Training. Information sessions and training opportunities for citizens that want to learn more about county government?
4. Be open, honest, and communicate – transparency
Adhere to Indiana’s Public Access Laws. At a minimum, ensure that the county government website identifies the roles, responsibilities, and respective state statutes that govern all offices, departments, commissions, and boards.
- What are the policies for appointments to vacancies on boards and commissions? Is this posted on the government website?
- Council Policy and Process ?
- Commissioner Policy and Process?
5. Apply collaborative problem solving and decision making processes
- Fact, Data, and Process-Based Decision Making. Problems are defined before solutions are determined and implemented. Does the county publish the process they use in arriving at major decisions?
Outline — Example County Decision Making Process:
- Background on the topic
- Identify and defined the problem
- Identify facts, assumptions and supporting data that validate the problem and support the change
- Identify the desired solution (s)
- Identify at least three options that were considered
- Identify the pros and cons of each option
- Identify the decision and implementation process
- Make the change; Conduct periodic follow-ups to assess results
Community Collaboration and Leadership. Challenges and opportunities to get involved.
- Brown County – Leaders Connecting Leaders
- Brown County Community Foundation:
Additional Information – Principles for Independent (nonpartisan) voters