The Baltimore County Council acts on behalf of the citizens it represents and should be open, transparent, and responsive to the comments and suggestions of county residents. Colleen is committed to increasing dialogue and building consensus so that District 3’s interests are protected and has a vision for increasing communication between constituents and their representatives and improving the transparency of our local government.
What can we do?
- Hold monthly forums to engage with the community. Colleen will host regularly scheduled forums to facilitate open, ongoing, and consistent dialogue with constituents. In the past, such meetings have been held at midday, excluding many of our residents who are busy at work. That’s why Colleen will hold her monthly forums after 5:00 pm, a time at which more residents can attend and make their voices heard.
- Promote the use of technology, in particular the underutilized BaltCoGo app (IOS, Android) to get more residents engaged in our county government. It’s time Baltimore County makes it simple for residents to stay informed and involved in their community and government. Colleen will ensure the app, which helps connect residents with county services, is regularly updated and expanded to include information on County Council meeting agendas and minutes and to allow residents to submit video testimony to council proceedings. Colleen will also advocate for the creation of a live-streaming tool such as Baltimore City’s CharmTv so that residents can easily access timely information about their local government.
- Update the County Government’s website to improve its navigation and design so that information is more easily available and accessible.
- Get big money out of politics. For too long, our political leaders have favored the interests of big money and developers over the concerns of regular people. There is a solution to this problem–public financing of political campaigns, coupled with small donations, can drive big-money interests out of our democracy. In order that all voices may be heard equally, Colleen will push for Baltimore County to follow the sensible path of Montgomery County and Howard County in beginning a public campaign financing program that puts people before corporations. And, as a representative for the people–not big money–she will not accept any funds from developers or business PACs.
- Ensure no-bid contracts are few and far between. No-bid contracts can be a useful tool for government in situations in which only one vendor can provide needed services or in which certain services must be implemented right away. But given the risk of waste and corruption with such contracts, they should be implemented infrequently.
- Create a position for an independent Inspector General. An independent Inspector General, such as those in Montgomery County, Baltimore City, and the state of Maryland, would help root out waste and corruption in Baltimore County. Given the recent indictment of Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent Dallas Dance, it’s critical that county officials are able to ensure that our tax dollars are well spent.
Check our Colleen’s Baltimore Sun op-ed, “Does Sinclair Really Need a Handout from Md Taxpayers?”