A let­ter from Mayor John­ston

The Covington News - - OPINION - Your friend and mayor, Ron­nie John­ston RON­NIE JOHN­STON COV­ING­TON MAYOR

Dear City of Cov­ing­ton Res­i­dents,

Serv­ing as your mayor has been both re­ward­ing and ed­u­ca­tional and I count it as a bless­ing ev­ery day. Dur­ing my time as mayor, I have been for­tu­nate enough to see and ex­pe­ri­ence things I never thought pos­si­ble and for that, I am very thank­ful. I con­stantly strive to bet­ter serve the peo­ple of Cov­ing­ton and one of my New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions is to com­mu­ni­cate more of­ten with the cit­i­zens of this won­der­ful city. Ev­ery month, I am go­ing to write about some­thing I think is im­por­tant. It might be about a gov­ern­men­tal con­cern, a worldly mat­ter or some­thing that just im­pacts us in Cov­ing­ton. What­ever it may be, you can rest as­sured it comes from the heart and I find it im­por­tant.

Trans­parency. Mer­riam Web­ster de­fines it as “the state or qual­ity of be­ing trans­par­ent.” That begs the ques­tion, what is the def­i­ni­tion of trans­par­ent? The dic­tio­nary de­fines that as “able to be seen through,” like a piece of glass, or… your gov­ern­ment. Sound a lit­tle crazy? Be­fore you stop read­ing, let me ex­plain.

Your elected of­fi­cials and city gov­ern­ment work hard, day in and day out, to main­tain the qual­ity of life we en­joy in Cov­ing­ton and work con­stantly to im­prove it. There are no se­crets or any­thing that “goes on be­hind closed doors” that we keep from you. We try our best to be trans­par­ent and it is im­por­tant for sev­eral rea­sons.

I view my­self as a ser­vant to the peo­ple I work for: you, the tax­pay­ers. It is your money that is be­ing spent and you need to know where it goes. You have a right to know where it goes. There are a lot of dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests and opin­ions in our com­mu­nity. That is part of what makes it so great, but with those vary­ing opin­ions also comes com­pro­mise. We try to com­plete projects and make de­ci­sions that will im­pact as many peo­ple in a pos­i­tive man­ner as pos­si­ble. That doesn’t mean pleas­ing ev­ery­one con­stantly, but though trans­parency, I hope ev­ery­one can un­der­stand why we make the de­ci­sions we do. Be­ing trans­par­ent benefits the city gov­ern­ment as well be­cause, like a healthy re­la­tion­ship with your sig­nif­i­cant other, se­crets don’t do any­one any good. There should be noth­ing left to the imag­i­na­tion.

Trans­parency, to me, is lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple you serve, pro­cess­ing their wants and needs, try­ing your ab­so­lute best to find so­lu­tions and not stop­ping un­til you do so. Then it is articulating those so­lu­tions and in­for­ma­tion back to them and not hold­ing any­thing back.

Trans­parency pro­motes ac­count­abil­ity and lets cit­i­zens know ex­actly what their gov­ern­ment is do­ing.

Not only is be­ing trans­par­ent the right thing to do, it is the only thing to do. It takes courage to be 100 per­cent trans­par­ent, but at the end of the day, it elim­i­nates sus­pi­cion and puts ev­ery­one on the same page.

If you have any ques­tions or feed­back, please send me a note at rjohn­ston@city­of­cov­ing­ton.org. I’d love to hear from you

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