Holiday Season Reflections on Government Reform and Future Agendas – Media Round-Up for December 25, 2011

Today’s editorial in the Miami Herald discusses the 2011 year of local government reforms in Florida that led to a new county wide ethics policy in Broward County, FL and the recall of the Miami-Dade Mayor after citizens had enough with questionnable decisionmaking which has now resulted in a county charter reform proposal that will be before voters in January.  In the meantime, the editorial opines that the new Mayor has stepped-up to address a number of unsustainable fiscal pressures facing the County.  

As reported in the Evansville Courier Press, Indiana Governor Rich Daniels has announced four reform priorities for the last year of his term – banning nepotism, restricting conflicts of interest where public officials serve on bodies that set the budget for jobs they hold, elminating three-member township advisory boards that sign-off on the budgets and transferring the fiscal oversight function to the county level, and allowing counties to switch from three-member commissioner boards to a single county commissioner who would have executive powers/functions. The Journal Gazette offers opinions as to whether this will actually be the year for local government reform in Indiana.

Meanwhile, The Hill reports that the watchdog group Public Citizen claims that President Obama has not done enough to follow through on his reform promises to promote ethics and transparency.  Although the White House did offer a list of accomplishments in this regard.

Ethics reform continues to be listed at the forefront of many government officials agendas.  The Gazzette reports that Price Georges County Executive Rushern Baker will continue reform efforts in this regard after reflecting on his surprise at how long it takes to accomplish meaningful government reform.

Calls for government reform are not unique to the United States.  This week the Irish Times published an opinion calling for local government refrom, the Spanish Morning Herald reports that government reform measures include raising public pensions to be more in line with inflation, and MyRepublica reports that work on studies leading to major government reform efforts in Nepal are going slower than anticipated.   



Public Authorities Blog Offers Much Food for Thought for the Reform Minded

Albany Law School  Government Law Center Senior Staff Attorney Amy Lavine blogs about public authorities here. The blog is growing in popularity as “the” source for everything related to public authorities – reported cases, reform efforts, reports from various governmental agencies and task forces, as well as reports from non-governmental organizations.  It also provides links to many informative sites that discuss various aspects of government reform efforts.  Another unique feature of the blog is a routine round-up of news articles that discuss public authorities in New York, across the country, and even across the world (e.g., a recent post discussed public authorities in China.) The blog, part of the Government Law Center’s Public Authorities Project, also links to a national clearinghouse on public authorities maintained by the Center.  Interested readers may subscribe to the blog by email and/or by RSS.