Transparency Today, Transparency Tomorrow, Transparency PLEASE!

When Charlestown residents ask questions of the current administration instead of clear answers we are met with rhetorical gymnastics that twist and turn perceptions of truth and stamp a label of “political malcontent” upon anyone who voices concern over or opposition to the Mayor’s actions. Mayor Bob Hall frequently reminds us that his goals are “a process not an event,” and reframes our desire to have that process clearly and publicly outlined into the incessant whining of inconsolable toddlers.

Council meeting protest

 “The group that’s here has protested everything we’ve done and the lack of transparency is always used if they don’t get their way,” – Mayor Bob Hall

While it is impossible to satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time, it IS possible to keep 100% of the people informed – especially when city resources or citizen tax dollars are at play.

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Yesterday residents in Glendale began sharing images of a letter they received recently from the City. This letter “cordially” invites the recipient to a meeting with their “Glendale neighbors, Mayor Bob Hall, City Councilmen Mike Vaughn and JT Cox, Chief Keith McDonald, City Services Director Ben Ledbetter, and other city officials” to discuss the status of their neighborhood including “significant investments to streetscape enhancement, parks, property maintenance enforcement, and community policing.” 

The letter has raised alarms and questions as several people who live in Glendale wonder what has motivated this focus on their community. Near the forefront of many of their minds is the treatment that the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood has experienced at the hands of this administration.

In an effort to bring attention to the meeting, local news source Charlestown Courier  contacted the City for an official press release. Unfortunately, they were rebuffed and told that the letter applies only to Glendale residents.

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This refusal to share plans when “significant investments” of tax revenue are being directed to any one neighborhood in town is exactly the kind of thing that creates “political malcontents.” People want to be informed. The City has numerous ways of providing such information. Refusing to offer a “broader release” of public information generates suspicion.

The Charlestown Courier has created a poll to see how Charlestown residents feel about the issue of transparency. To view or vote on the poll please visit their facebook page here: Charlestown Courier FaceBook Page

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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