Take Our Survey, Grade Your Town on Transparency

Published On December 29, 2015 » 1875 Views» By Charles Powers » Transparency SURVEY
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Municipal Transparency Survey

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GRADE YOUR TOWN!

How does your town’s government perform on the important skills of sharing information, listening, and competently responding with effective policy and practice?  Share your views now on the survey now as we begin to work with you to grade all 70 towns in Bergen County and to define municipal best practice.

Join us as we first solicit the views of Bergen residents about how open they believe their own municipalities’ governments are — how well their governments provide information, listen, and respond.  The survey is online — click on SURVEY and you will be taken right to it.  But before you go there, you may want us to explain a little more about what we are doing and why….
Your local town government may well have more of an impact on your life than any other level of government.  So if it impacts you strongly, then ask yourself how well it understands you, informs you about what it is doing, and respects your input.  BGR believes these are exceedingly important questions.  Most of us know very little about how our friends, neighbors, and residents of nearby towns think their town is performing.

So we devised a survey to find out.  First things first:

  1. We are collecting data from all 70 municipalities (towns, boroughs, etc.) in Bergen County.  If you reside in Bergen County, then we want you to take this survey.
  2. How long will the survey take you?  That depends on you.  It might take as little as half a minute.  The survey begins with a 9-question “report card,” in which you grade your town’s openness and responsiveness.  Then, we then provide you with an opportunity to tell us your own stories about how you and your town interact.  Finally, we ask you to suggest an additional way of gauging your town’s openness, or an aspect of openness and transparency that our survey does not already address.  We may have missed something important, and we want to learn from you.
  3. If you have a long story — one which takes more words to describe than our survey form provides —  Great.  Just type it out and send it to us either via email (p[email protected] ), fax (201-357-2498), or mail (BGR, Inc., P.O. Box 2070, Teaneck, NJ 07666).
  4. How much personal info do you need to give us?  As much or as little as you feel comfortable giving.  We need to know what “town” you are grading.  Aside from that you can choose your own level of anonymity, and also choose whether or not you want to receive emails from us about our progress in this endeavor, or about Bergen Grassroots activities in general.
  5. Do you have important stories to tell that make it impossible to conceal your identity?  Please complete the grading part of the survey and then contact us directly by mail or email (addresses above).
  6. We plan to be working on this project for a while.  If you want to help us frame the project as it evolves and help us interpret what we learn, then join us at our first workshop on January 19th to be held at 7:30pm in the Ethical Culture Society Auditorium at 687 Larch Ave. in Teaneck.

As we collect data from this survey (and possibly from additional surveys), we invite you come out to our meetings where we will share stories and opinions submitted by residents, and where we will develop a method of gauging and elucidating comparative transparency and responsiveness among the County’s towns.  We will be working with you to improve this method as we move forward.

Again – all you need to start the process is to click Muni Survey and you will be taken right to it.  If you would rather fill out the survey on a sheet of paper, you may contact Chuck Powers by email ([email protected]) or through the mail (BGR, Inc., P.O. Box 2070, Teaneck, NJ 07666) and ask for a copy to be sent to you.

Thanks and welcome to Bergen Grassroots.  We are a non-partisan non-profit organization committed to responsive and effective governance at all levels here in Bergen County.  We suspect our goals are yours as well.

 

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