Building better government in Chaska

How can we build a better city government in Chaska?  It’s about adherence to certain principles, and living them — not just talking about them.

Openness:  We need a more robust accounting of potential conflicts of interest.  We know the Mayor is building a business with the former City Administrator selling products to Chaska businesses.  We know that same former City Administrator is consulting with Chaska real estate developers.  We know that a former Mayor works for one of the primary developers in Chaska.  We know that a current City Council member is an investor in a major proposed real estate development. 

There is nothing wrong or nefarious about these things.  But they should be made public, so that the actions of our elected officials can be judged appropriately.  The Mayor and Councilmember in question should recuse themselves where appropriate.  And, the presence of the former officials as part of the development process should be publicized, so that we can ensure that comfortable relationships don’t result in a lack of scrutiny.

Transparency:  It should be easier for citizens to get information about what their city government is doing on their behalf.  Posting of agendas and minutes for the city council and commissions on the city website, should be automatic. 

Inclusiveness:  Good ideas about the city of Chaska don’t only come from people who have lived here a long time.  We hear a lot of words encouraging people to become involved, until it actually becomes time for them to become involved.  Then, it seems, we get the same old names being recycled around.  55.6% of Chaska’s residents have moved here in the last decade.  Like it or not, “new Chaska” is bigger than “old Chaska”.  So let’s get over it, and invite everyone to have a seat at the table.

What are your thoughts?  Please leave your comments!

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