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DeMaio Proposes Ways To Increase City Government’s Transparency

Councilman Carl DeMaio today proposed a series of steps that he said the city should take to promote government transparency, mainly by increasing the amount of data available to the public over the Internet.

The provisions of the mayoral candidate's "Sunshine Act for City Hall" include posting online:

-- quarterly reports of compensation for city employees and retirees;

-- all municipal contracts, including justifications for single-bid contracts;

-- performance results for each city department and senior manager;

-- city bargaining positions in labor negotiations, beginning with the initial offer and being updated over time;

-- all campaign contributions instead of just those $100 and above; and

-- city financial reports.

DeMaio said the city has made some improvements in making information available to the public in his years in office, and before that as a civic watchdog, but still has a way to go.

"While we've made some progress in some areas, the simple fact is City Hall is still shrouded in a veil of secrecy and a lack of information exists on too many issues," DeMaio said. "Put simply, the public has a right to know what is going on in government, what decisions are pending and what it's costing all of us as taxpayers."

He said City Council President Tony Young has agreed to place his proposals on the agenda of an upcoming Rules Committee meeting.

The office of Mayor Jerry Sanders said the city's website won an A-plus grade from the Virginia-based Sunshine Review, making it among the top 100 of around 6,000 government online operations.

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