Transparency is an ongoing issue at City Hall, in particular with public/private partnerships. How would you make the changes necessary to allow the details and continuing relevant information about these partnerships more accessible and transparent?
Lynn McBee - Did not respond.
Jason Villalba - Did not respond.
Scott Griggs - Transparency is an ongoing issue at City Hall, in particular with public/private partnerships. How would you make the changes necessary to allow the details and continuing relevant information about these partnerships more accessible and transparent?
I support an Economic Development Policy with a requirement of contract monitoring of public/private partnerships and regular reporting on the details of these partnerships.
Also, the Dallas City Council meets in closed executive session to discuss public/private partnerships. There are no recordings of what happens in closed executive session. Let’s increase transparency at City Hall. Under my proposal, all closed executive sessions of the Dallas City Council should be video recorded in entirety. The closed session recordings can then be made available to the public whenever all rationales for closing the session are no longer applicable.
Mike Ablon - Did not respond.
Miguel Solis - I will create Mayor’s Office hours where I bring my staff and myself to different neighborhoods and communities around Dallas to hear directly from the communities.
Alyson Kennedy - Did not respond.
Regina Montoya - As I mentioned previously with our permitting process, the city uses an antiquated system. Several municipalities, such as Houston, have implemented online web portals or dashboards that allow for city residents to interact or manipulate budget date (as opposed to solely receiving the information in a standard PDF format). The ability to comprehensively intake the information allows for the viewers to have a better understanding of the city’s finances and encourages public participation, as well as upholds higher standards of government transparency. Tools such as categorical tagging and financial dictionaries can easily be incorporated into the interface and greatly benefit residents who want to track city finances.
Eric Johnson - Did not respond.
Albert Black - We clearly need better governance in city government. That means more fairness, transparency and accountability – so that the public can really get under the hood of major initiatives and understand who benefits. A timely example: We need to make sure that large neighborhood revitalization projects just another avenue for pushing people out of their homes.
Giovanni “Gio” Valderas - As a former member of a city commission, I advocated for and got that commission to adopt total transparency in its public meetings by requiring that they be held at City Hall and that they always be videotaped. I think all city board and commission meetings should meet these same requirements. Wherever city dollars are being spent, all records regarding these expenditures are available to any citizen via the Open Records request process. However, the average citizen doesn’t always know this is available to them. I will institute community education workshops in District 1 to teach residents how to access this information. I’ll advocate for similar workshops to happen in my fellow council members’ districts so Dallas citizens learn how to ensure transparency in all city financial dealings.
Jeremy T. Boss - Did not respond.
Sylvana Alonzo - Did not respond.
Chad West - Council has recently agreed that all partners to City contracts should voluntarily honor residents’ PIA requests, in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act. These contracts should be easily and publicly searchable online. Councilmembers should also post about the contracts (and opportunities to do business with the City) on social media and alert leaders in their respective neighborhoods.
Adam Medrano - Transparency is needed to make everyone accountable and I will definitely support all measures of transparency. Education is essential there are mechanisms available now and people just don’t know about them (or as much as they should).
Paul A. Freeman - Did not respond.
Barbara Coombs - Did not respond.
Davante D. Peters - Did not respond.
Denise Benavides - Did not respond.
Casey Thomas, II - Did not respond.
Charletta Rogers Compton - I believe in transparency. I would advocate for and recommend to my colleagues that transparency is key to good governance. If contracts, partnerships, etc. are above board and good for the interests of the city there is no reason for the public to be kept in the dark about the details.
Britannica Scott - Host town halls notifying residents of potential changes and options that could potentially affect their neighborhood. Create committee and street taskforce that consistently engage with the residents in the community about certain environment changes.
As your city councilwoman, I would like to also host certain festivals and activities that will bring the community together and become more informed about environmental concerns in their community.
Dawn M. Blair - Did not respond.
Carolyn King Arnold - The arguments of transparency will probably be around for times to come. The bureaucratic process tends to lend itself to the “belief” that information is being held back. The greatest step to transparency is to ensure communication between the policymakers and the public. I would support more televised proceedings with our own city channel, publication of practices, policies, procedures online, print media (with the inclusion of community newspapers) and social media to name a few. These are steps that will provide the community with the assurance that they are included in the process.
Keyaira D. Saunders - Did not respond.
Karon “K” Flewellen - Did not respond.
Asa O. Woodberry - Did not respond.
Yolanda “Faye” Williams - Did not respond.
Jaime Resendez - I strongly support transparency in government. In my experience, the answers to many questions residents ask are way too difficult to find. I would sit down and listen to you to gain a good understanding of the details and information to which you want access and the format that would be most convenient then work together with city staff to come up with a way to provide that information.
Ruth Torres - All contracts above 50k (no structuring contracts) must utilize the competitive bid process. I would make every effort to communicate and engage with the community prior to board decisions. These contracts also need to have more performance requirements and contract management. It’s time for accountability.
Tony Carrillo - Did not respond.
Omar Narvaez - I continue to advocate for transparency, and we have to stop the players that continue to bend the rules and overlook the bad players.
Monica R. Alonzo - Did not respond.
Tiffinni A. Young - Did not respond.
Adam Bazaldua - The place to start is requiring annual audits of all public/private partnerships. We need to have a zero-tolerance policy that terminates any contract where public funds have been misused. The mindset has to change about choosing the the winning bid in the RFP/RPQ process; instead of reflexively choosing the cheapest proposal, we need make sure we’re getting the most value for the our money.
Kevin Felder - The best way to demonstrate transparency in public/private partnerships is to allow citizens complete access to them. Also, setting guidelines and standards of conduct is important to holding everyone accountable.
Joseph Thomas - Did not respond.
Sandra Crenshaw - Did not respond.
Yvette Gbalazeh - Did not respond.
Calvin D. Johnson - Did not respond.
Sade' Johnson - Did not respond.
Korey Deon Mack - Did not respond.
Tennell Atkins - I support transparency involving transactions at city hall. However, public/private partnership often involve business negotiations that would disadvantage one or more parties if disclosed prematurely.
Erik Wilson - Yes, I would.
Tamara "Tami" Brown Rodriquez - Did not respond.
Erin Moore - I would be in favor of auditing all existing public/private partnerships. I think any public entity needs to have both regular and unscheduled audits. I would also encourage the discontinuation of auto-renewals on all existing contracts until they are reviewed for the following criteria: are they accomplishing the desired task stated during formation, are there any revisions necessary to the contract for clarity or legal reasons, and does the PPP need to continue?
Sarah Lamb - Audit! Audit! Audit! We also can no longer continue to allow automatic renewals of public/private contracts without going through an audit first. The organization White Rock Boathouse, Inc. just saw their contract renewed until 2023, and 2024, while in the midst of an audit. The Boathouse and Filter Building, managed by White Rock Boathouse Inc., have seen problems with their handling and accounting of hundreds of thousands of dollars of public funds. This incident highlights the fiscal management difficulties experienced by a small city contractor who, while it is doing good work for our neighborhoods, clearly needs help keeping its books. We continue to see this pattern, both with small contractors and much larger organizations such as VisitDallas, creating enormous opportunities for malfeasance and outright theft by bad actors and leaving the good folks who mainly man these organizations exposed to blame. We cannot allow millions of dollars of public funds to go without better oversight. The city needs to prioritize auditors to comb through our public/private contacts to ensure that these contracts are being fulfilled and our money is being properly accounted for.
Paula Blackmon - The City needs to review and audit all of its existing contracts and report to the Dallas City Council in a public briefing. Whether its big contracts like Visit Dallas or smaller scale contracts like the White Rock Boathouse, City Staff is having a very hard time managing its contracts with its partners. We need to make sure that the City has the proper amount of staff and resources to provide proper oversight for these contracts and we need to ensure that the public understands how their tax payer dollars are being spent. Following a full audit of all contracts with public/ private partners, Council should be briefed regularly on any updates or maleficent behavior to provide stronger and more transparent oversight.
Sirrano Keith Baldeo - Recently Amazon, ESPN and Home Depot got millions in corporate welfare, As the publisher of a newspaper for 12 years I spent most of that time getting public information, I am very experienced is what to look for and where to look for it and how to get it. I made an application for the files on Amazon only to be told no, the deal was confidential and It was sent to the Attorney General for a denial. The same happened with the police department information I wanted, I won that one, the AG said give it to him. The other I’m still working on as the president of a newspaper, but if I become the councilman all that changes, I get to open up everything to the public, all the bad deals and all the things they are hiding. I know how to publish information they government is blocking and that will now be on the city’s website and on my own personal publication as long as it is not part of an ongoing issue or close session discussion we can’t talk about by law so I’m a good one for this.
D'Andrala "Dede" Alexander - Online access is one part of the solution, but that serves only those of us who have internet access and who can navigate City Hall’s website. We need human-centered organizational effectiveness reviews to understand the gaps between what residents want to know, and what they can figure out how to access. This process needs to involve community engagement information gathering, then designing around that feedback and keeping up with community to ensure we are keeping up with potentially evolving needs of residents.
Adam McGough - Did not respond.
Curtis T. Harris - Did not respond.
Lee M. Kleinman - Did not respond.
Carolyn "Cookie" Peadon - A database with information about public/private partnerships would be a starting point. Registration of such partnerships would help provide a starting point.
Cara Mendelsohn - Set expectations for metrics and outcomes before awards are made. Private and non-profit partners must submit to regular compliance monitoring and city audits. Partners that fail to meet safety, quality, and timeliness benchmarks should not be awarded additional contracts.
Daniel Powell - Transparency in public-private partnerships is very important so residents know that tax revenues are being used wisely. The issue is that private companies do not have the same level of public scrutiny as municipal governments. I will be an advocate for public-private partnership contracts that ensure a high level of information accessibility. I would point to the Fair Park First and Spectra contract as an example. For years, Dallas did not have reliable access to revenue figures from the State Fair of Texas. Therefore, city leaders did not know if the State Fair was reinvesting enough into the deteriorating buildings. Under the new contract, Dallas has effective public oversight. The Park Board will get quarterly briefings from Fair Park First for the first two years. These will cover all financial performance issues. Fair Park First must also get prior approval from Dallas for capital improvements that cost over $250,000 and for selling naming rights. If we contractually obligate private companies we partner with to certain transparency requirements, we can enforce those measures.
Jennifer Staubach Gates - Did not respond.
Laura Miller - Did not respond.
Philip T. Kingston - Starting 5 years ago, I initiated – and council agreed – the inclusion of Texas Public Information Act provisions into all of our partnership contracts requiring our partners to voluntarily honor residents’ PIA requests. All of these contracts should also be publicly searchable from the city’s website. In my opinion, no amount of transparency can cure council’s willingness to overlook abuses such as the recent ones exposed at Visit Dallas. As long as Mike Rawlings and Jennifer Gates protect cheaters, we will suffer from bad partnerships. The solution is for those council members to go.
David Blewett - Dallas has a clear policy on transparency. The problem is many times we skirt the requirements. I am a firm believer that the City’s business is the people’s business and should be open.
Warren Ernest Johnson - I would be happy to participate. I support all the measures in the questionnaire. I also practice green policies in my personal life. I live in a 850 square foot condo though I could easily afford a much larger and more energy consuming home. I recycle. I buy very little and only what I need. I walk to the store and other places that are within a mile. I use mass transit whenever possible. I drive a 2018 Hyundai Ioniq that recently achieved 62 mpg in city driving ! Others talk it. I live it.