Thursday, July 9, 2009

Budget Reporting: Whatcom County's Home Charter Mystique

'Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.' - Louis D. Brandeis

An earlier blog addressed this subject's issue.
Now, still lacking some basic answers, I hope questioning County Council candidates may help reveal what the County's budget reporting requirements are, what they ought to be according to the County Charter, and what the County Council intends to do about correcting any deficiencies.

Will it require a Charter amendment, or a simple Resolution to the Executive that requests more frequent budgetary progress reports?

As a City Council Member, I wanted to stay timely informed about City financial matters -good, bad or indifferent.
And, it's hard to imagine County Council members not feeling the same way!

Maybe there are ready answers to my question just waiting to be harvested.
But, maybe there aren't, which may make asking the question somewhat unwelcome?
This question needs to be asked, answered and fixed as appropriate.

On related matters, other questions ought to be asked of the candidates themselves, and not only about specific issues.
An earlier blog covered this aspect as well, plus the important general qualifications of competence and integrity.

Unlike 'issues of the moment', the basic decision-making process of candidates -plus the ever essential integrity and competence- are the criteria that voters can rely upon regardless of issue.

Hopefully, the forums, debates, campaign literature and answers to questions like these will help voters make the selections most likely to benefit Whatcom County and other jurisdictions.

One final thought.
David Brooks, the Conservative pundit, wrote this opinion column for the NYTimes.
It seems a very timely and appropriate subject, regardless of jurisdiction.

Read it and develop your own reaction.
Frankly, I enjoyed it.
"Writers are at their best as terrorists- Sometimes social terrorists, sometimes political, sometimes terrorists of the heart. If a writer is good, he will be all three at once. His weapons are words well used to disturb and to clarify thought, emotion and action." - John Ralston Saul