Transparency in appointments builds trust

Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM.

Working together was a hot topic at the last Apalachicola city commissioner’s meeting. It’s easier to work together if we all feel fairly treated.

Fair treatment in city government (or in any governing body) requires good governance. A principle of good governance includes transparency. One way transparency can help folks work together is to make it very clear just how people are appointed to various boards, and how and by whom they are selected.

Apalachicola is a huge beneficiary of all the energy and talent provided by the many volunteers who make the city a better place to live, but Ms. A will not trust Mr. B if she believes he is only on that board to promote someone’s special interest and that he is getting favors in return, favors that Ms. A doesn’t get. In fact no one on any board should be getting favors, but that’s another principle of good governance for another day.

The process by which board members are appointed should be available to anyone who wants to know, and the process by which any individual board member was selected should be available to anyone who wants to know. Transparency in how the board members are appointed is one step to fairness, trust, and the goal of working together.


Ellen Stitt

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