Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western opinion -

NOW, more than ever, lo­cal gov­ern­ments need to be trans­par­ent. Ev­ery de­vel­oper spo­ken to, ev­ery cent spent on travel and ev­ery item of cloth­ing claimed needs to be on the public record. Ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency pro­motes trust in the peo­ple who make piv­otal de­ci­sions in the com­mu­nity. The City of Vin­cent will in­tro­duce a de­vel­oper reg­is­ter that re­quires coun­cil­lors to record any in­ter­ac­tions they have with de­vel­op­ers. Town of Cam­bridge Mayor Simon Withers is less con­cerned about this reg­is­ter be­cause of the smaller num­ber of devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions to his coun­cil, but be­lieves a travel reg­is­ter is im­por­tant. Lord Mayor Lisa Scaf­fidi was re­cently forced to ex­plain a trip to the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics pro­vided by BHP Bil­li­ton, de­spite get­ting the i’s dot­ted and t’s crossed at the time. If th­ese reg­is­ters pro­tect elected mem­bers from sus­pi­cion and build the con­fi­dence of ratepay­ers in their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, it should be done. There’s no such thing as be­ing too trans­par­ent or accountable. Denise S. Cahill - Edi­tor

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