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Sanibel City Council Forum series: Part Four

By Staff | Feb 25, 2015

The final question and answer in a four-part series is this week. The answer was limited to a maximum of 150 words.

The election for the two seats for the Sanibel City Council being sought by Frances Slane, Jim Jennings and Chauncey Goss will be Tuesday, March 3.

Question: “How important do you rate the issue of transparency of government to the public?

If elected, how will you practice and enforce the issue of government transparency? “

Chauncey Goss: Florida has very strict “Sunshine Laws” that prohibit back room dealings and encourage open discussions and an open decision-making process.

I take those laws seriously just as I know the current Council does.

Mayor Ruane has done a fantastic job of setting a tone of civility and transparency as our City’s leader and it is my intent to operate in the same manner.

I applaud the City’s efforts to make City business including Council meetings, agendas, and minutes available on the web and will support all other such efforts of transparency.

Frances Slane: Transparency is my priority; it is the foundation for an effective, responsible government. Its lack leads to government that is not accountable to its citizens.

I followed the recreation center project closely. Taxpayers were told that its annual operating costs would be $900,000 per year. In reality, it’s $2 million per year.

Today, we are talking about the civic core. Taxpayers are being told that the project will cost us $20 million and will be paid with outside funds.

As a council member it will be my job to know and to inform taxpayers of total projected costs, the sources of funding and estimated ongoing costs.

One strength I will bring to the council is an inquisitive mind. I will insist that issues are fully examined and understood. My extensive knowledge of the city’s budget and finances will ensure the taxpayers are fully informed.

Jim Jennings: I believe transparency of government is a very important issue to me.

In the twelve years, I have served in public office for the City of Sanibel; we have dramatically improved the level of transparency. The City of Sanibel utilized technically to achieve its success with an expanded website and an updated streaming of all council meetings.

The public can go to the City of Sanibel’s website and retrieve any topic or issue and review current items or issues from long ago.

As a member of the city council, I voted for live streaming of all meetings and would be willing to improve and update the coverage so we could have them recorded on cable or satellite whichever would be most effective.

I realize we govern for the people and an informed, educated constituent will always benefit from on open clear transparent government.