Twitter: @margieforaustin

Campaign Finance Data Challenge: accepted

Open Data

Many of these issues, such as the Open Data Portal and Open Government Resolution, are discussed in our Open Government Briefing Guide.

⇒ 1. How will you encourage City departments to comply with the Open Government Resolution and place useful data on the open data portal on a timely basis?

My whole campaign is based on transparency in city government. Our city website desperately needs to be updated and be more user friendly. Departments need to provide quarterly reports online and post any new ordinances immediately as well as any concern that requires citizen input.

⇒ 2. How would you evaluate departments' compliance with the Open Government Resolution? Would you support a resolution to create a quarterly report card?

Would you support a resolution to create a quarterly report card? Our departments need a quarterly report that is sent to the city manager and council. This report will include updated budgets and should be part of any department manager’s job description.

⇒ 3. Would you support a resolution to require that any software or software services purchased by the City must be accompanied by an open data plan that indicates how public data managed by that system will be made available to the public?

Yes absolutely…that’s being transparent to the tax payers

Innovation Office

⇒ 4. This past March, the City hired its first Chief Innovation Officer. What are the specific functions and initiatives you would like to see out of this office to advance the City's open government and open data efforts?

This position should have the responsibility of keeping the departments accountable to providing open data online as well making sure the website remands current and user friendly. It makes no sense that Austin being a tech hub is not more current at city hall when it comes to technology. First and foremost we need a software program that provides “zero line accounting” practices so that every expenditure is listed online line by line for all to see clearly.  One modest suggestion: “Digital Innovation” may be too narrow a focus. City of Austin needs transparent, effective and efficient government.

Website and Online Services

⇒ 5. What steps would you take to help ensure the City of Austin website provides the tools and information that citizens and community groups want?

Once council is elected, we need to go spend some time in each district to learn what their highest priorities are so we know as a council where we should focus our energies and take these findings back to the citizens so they understand that all that gets brought to the council to be decided about will need to meet the goals of the people. Part of each of these discussions will include what would you like to see on the website? What are you not able to access online that should be available to the public? Then take these answers and see  how best to incorporate them into a more user friendly site that provides the information that the majority of citizens would like to access.

⇒ 6. Would you support action to create an online issue feedback/reporting system, where a citizen could report an issue with the City's website and other online properties, and track city response to that issue?

This is certainly worth considering. We must find better ways to handle and address concerns by the public that continue to allow those that wish to have input have that access.

⇒ 7. There are strong benefits to providing city information and services online. Many residents, however, experience barriers to access. (See discussion of "Digital Inclusion" in our Open Government Briefing Guide.) What do you see as the City's responsibility regarding digital inclusion, and what steps would you take to address these concerns?

We must get a more user friendly site and any barriers that have been expressed need to be taken into consideration when creating the site. In the meantime, with all the technology companies in this city, one would think we could make what we have currently more user friendly in the meantime.

Open Data Exercise: Campaign Finance Filings

The City of Austin currently posts candidate and office holder financial statements as scanned facsimiles (PDF format) of the filed, attested documents. In 2012, the City Council approved a resolution to post these filings in a searchable, digital form.

⇒ 8. What would you do to ensure this project is completed before the next municipal election?

Would need more understanding as to why it is currently done as it is before committing. It appears from everything I have tried to access that there has been a way to do so.

⇒ 9. Will you publicly post your campaign receipts and expenditures (as reported to the City on form C/OH) online, in CSV spreadsheet data format, within 30 days of filing a report with the Austin City Clerk? Where will you post it?

I don’t have a problem with it and we do use the TEC software to prepare our documents.