Transparency and accountability
"The public needs to know who is being paid by whom to influence the County; they also need to know with whom their elected representatives are meeting."
Government transparency means the public can see how their business is being transacted so that they can hold the officials who transact it accountable.
When Cindy took office in August 2013, Santa Clara County had fallen woefully behind other government jurisdictions in following best practices in transparency and in providing the technological tools to allow the public to monitor the actions of the officials they had elected to serve them. Her first actions in office were to address these deficiencies.
Public Calendars – On Sept. 10, 2013, Cindy proposed that the calendars—the listing of official appointments and who those appointments are with—of each of the five County Supervisors be published online. "The public needs to know who is being paid by whom to influence the County," she said. "They also need to know with whom their elected officials are meeting."
- This reform was passed 4-1 by the board. You may view each of Cindy's weekly public calendars here.
Lobbyist Ordinance – In her first Board of Supervisors' meeting Cindy cited the need for an ordinance to require lobbyists to file quarterly reports on their contacts with County officials including Supervisors and their staffs, Board appointees, and department and agency heads. The Board unanimously backed the idea in December 2013, asked the County Attorney to draw up the ordinance and then adopted it on a 5-0 vote Feb. 4, 2014.
- You may read an informative FAQ regarding the Lobbyist Ordinance here (PDF).
Campaign Contributions – Campaign finance reports for local candidates in Santa Clara County had not been easily accessible to the public, and reports that can't be read and evaluated don't serve the transparency needs of the people they are intended to inform. The Board unanimously approved Cindy's request on Jan. 28, 2014 that the County Administration what steps are necessary to publish these reports online in searchable format, including cost and timeline. A report from the Registrar of Voters is due by DATE so that the Board can proceed toward writing an ordinance.
INFORMATION TO COME