At a time when they are being hammered over an apparent lack of transparency, the City failed to take the opportunity to publicise their greatest advance in transparency in the past decade. In handling crisis communications one of the most important things that any individual or group can do is clear the air, to share your side of the story in a way that answers as many questions as possible to clarify your side of the story.
Yesterday, the Board considered a proposal from Supervisor Bill Campbell to take Orange County out of the dark ages of back room political deals and insider influence trading into the 21st century world of government transparency. The proposal itself did not go nearly far enough, but it was a first step that required registration of paid lobbyists.
As most of you know, we have been hammering the city council and executive staff of the City of Santa Ana pretty hard on the issue of transparency over the past few months. We have found conflicts of interest that have required the return of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and violations of sunshine and open meetings laws. The result of our investigations has lead me to a simple conclusion. The City of Santa Ana operates with about as much transparency as a brick wall.
After the Orange County Board of Supervisors failed to agendize proposed reforms requiring lobbyists to register and report on their activities to influence county government on matters of public interest, Senator Joe Dunn (ret.) spoke during Public Comments, noting he filed a notice to circulate a petition before the voters. Confident taxpayers want County government to operate with transparency and accountability, Dunn plans to lead an effort to gather the nearly 73,000 signatures required to place the reforms on the November 2010 ballot.
Former State Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana) is proposing that the Board of Supervisors adopt a major reform of the Orange County political environment by regulating lobbyists and themselves thus establishing more transparency in the way county government decisions are made.