Open Door or Open Government?

During the current political season, there has been much discussion about open government.
That is a good thing, especially since a good understanding of open government and the underlying principles should set the tone for our city (editorial opinion).

One thing I have noticed is that when the question of open government has come up, one candidate has consistently wanted to state that he is in favor of an open door policy.

This has left me curious if this candidate understands open government or is just trying to be politically correct in order to garner votes.

An open-door policy (re: business/corporate) is a policy where a manager, CEO, president or supervisor leaves their office door “open” in order to encourage communication with the all employees of that company. As the term implies, employees are encouraged to stop by whenever they feel the need to speak. Such a practice is viewed as a morale booster by letting employees feel as if they’re able to openly speak with their boss about numerous issues face-to-face, rather than by other means, such as e-mail or voice mail.
The idea is that having the door(s) open will make for a more comfortable and social work environment.
The actual implementation of an open-door policy for the purpose of addressing grievances or complaints should be handled very carefully. According to most experts, it is always the preferred method to immediately solve the problem of the employee. Human Resources should be immediately called and the issue should be resolved there and then. This sends out a great signal to all the employees that their voice is being heard.

From the above discussion it should be clear that an open door policy is not about open government. It shows that this candidate is interested in maintaining the status quo. His focus is on making sure that the existing municipal workforce is aware that his intention is to keep things the same and you, the employee, can always talk with him. This assumption is, of course, premised on the fact that the employee must support the candidate… duh!

Since some of the surrounding rhetoric (mostly by the same candidate and his other incumbent council member) has been about privitization and lay-offs, this gives him the ability to imply he is for maintaining the current processes.

Open Government is about giving the electorate the information they need to make informed choices.
If the answer to questions about open government are deflected to pander to the municipal employee vote, do you feel confident that this candidate will have your best interest at heart if elected.

I don’t.

admin posted at 2011-9-29 Category: Uncategorized

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