Transparent & Honest Government
Ever feel like Council voted on something too quickly? That there should have been a bit more discussion and thought put into a project before being voted on in one meeting? Or that you didn’t even know something was going to happen before you saw dirt moving and concrete pouring? I’ve heard this from businesses and residents a lot while going door-to-door in Fountain Inn. It shouldn’t be that way. Quite simply - an agenda item should never surprise or confuse you.
Transparency and honesty in governing is something I am very passionate about, and both will be more than a campaign promise for me - they’ll be a habit.
Stronger Committee Structure
Our City Council acts as one body, not individually - we’re meant to be a team. As Mayor, I’ll lead the charge in giving our Council members a stronger voice, and give the people a more transparent and deliberative process - all through a more formal Committee structure. Here's how it would work:
Six committees made of three Council members, each focused on one area of the City’s operations (Public Safety, Recreation, Community/Economic Development, Public Works, Natural Gas, and Finance & Policy).
Each City Council member would serve as Chair of one Committee, and sits on one additional Committee. The Mayor does not serve on any committee to ensure that Chairs can lead without interference.
Council members are appointed to these Committees based on their personal strengths and interests.
Committees meet regularly each month in an open meeting, and pass items on to full City Council when they are ready to be considered.
This structure is very common in local governments across the state and helps ensure that your elected officials have had time to review materials, ask questions, and hear from citizens, all before City Council takes any action. Meetings are open to the public and include time for public comment. Committees are where the fine details are combed through, the complex questions are answered, and they help make sure that everyone - most especially the public - is well-informed.
Ever see something on the Agenda and want to know exactly what something like “Re-zone to R12” means? And then, when you looked back at our City Council minutes, did you find only the vote count but no explanation?
My mother always used to say, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” I feel the same way about Council votes - it’s not just our vote, but also our reasons that matter. That's why as Mayor, I'll make our Agendas more accessible and our actions more transparent.
Agenda Item Summaries will be included in our Meeting Packets and on our website and social media, before Council meets.
We'll live-stream our full City Council meetings, or at least post recordings of them, so you can hear what was said.
We can lean on our Committees to help reduce the growing number of "Special Called" and "Work Session" meetings, which account for 45% of all meetings the last 15 months already.
It’s important for citizens to know what is going to be, and what was, discussed at a Council meeting so they can stay in the loop and have a clearer picture of their government.
Government has a tendency to take a very technical, rigid, and reactive approach to how it communicates with its citizens. Fountain Inn needs to be the exception to that profile, not the norm.
Residents and businesses need to be alerted when they will be directly impacted by a project near their house or storefront so they know what to expect and aren’t alarmed when the trucks start pulling in.
We need to use our email newsletter to communicate about public meetings - including Council meetings - so our citizens aren’t in the dark, but rather in the loop.