The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to email@example.com.
City needs performance reporting
I have taken the opportunity to attend City Council meetings and work sessions and have learned firsthand, as a tax-paying citizen, that the city of Athens provides very cost-effective and excellent service. To support an expanded visibility of this performance, I suggest the city provide a regularly scheduled report to its citizens on a semi-annual basis. Reporting would be developed and defined by district — 1 through 5 — and published, including a summary rollup at the city level.
The report would contain status regarding past and current performance on a variety of subject areas. Reporting could include such areas as: planned expenditures vs. current operating budgets; status regarding future planned and current significant projects; the type and volume of services provided plus future projections; operational and administrative cost savings and efficiencies, current and future economic development plans as applicable and available, and miscellaneous items such as plans and progress toward future disaster recovery planning.
Last, but not least, reporting on specific community needs and the city’s activities in association with teaming with the Limestone County Commission and our state congressional representatives. Reporting would reflect current operations as well as future plans, goals and objectives and provide a status regarding each of them.
Reports would have a standard format and include a predetermined set of subject areas and items and, as applicable, be directly related to each specific district. A separate section would report on the Athens citywide actions and services.
Based upon a set schedule, the reporting process would start within each city department, administrative area, commission, board, etc. Individuals assigned to the task would generate their report, which would then be reviewed, edited and rolled up to the next higher level and include the citywide services section leading to an integration for review and approval.
A final inclusion and integration of each district write-up along with the mayor’s executive summary would require a formal review for concurrence of the entire report by each district city councilman and the mayor.
The final report would be compiled and published out of the city clerk’s office with an initial distribution to the public by the Athens News Courier, followed by the city’s website and other media as desired.
If the city chooses to take on the task, I would be more than happy to provide my 20-plus years of professional experience in support of its development.