TONIGHT’s Transparency Fishbowl Forum & Burbmerger Coverage from Local Weeklies

Some outstanding transparency efforts are here in Cuyahoga County and I hope Pepper Pike residents will take an active interest in all of them.  First up, tonight:

Community Dialogue: Openness in the Making (read this supportive Plain Dealer editorial)

Thursday, June 30, 7:00 pm
Trinity Cathedral, Room C/D
2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

This coming Thursday will be an opportunity to participate in an enlightening and refreshing conversation with senior staff in the new Cuyahoga County administration and Council about their work to make our county government more open and accessible to the people it serves and represents. We will also be joined by statewide Open Government advocate Catherine Turcer who can speak to how our county fits into the statewide context.

Here are our featured guests:
Joe Nanni, Chief of Staff, Council
Nicole Dailey Jones, Communications Director
Majeed Makhlouf, Law Director
Jeff Mowry, Chief Info. Officer
David Merriman, Special Assistant
Catherine Turcer, Ohio Citizen Action

Using a innovative community dialogue format called a “Fishbowl,” members from the audience will have a chance to actually join the featured guests at our roundtable to ask questions about work within the county and share their perspectives on the future of our county. It’s rare to have the chance for such an intimate conversation with our county’s leaders. Please come and add your insight to the dialogue.

Parking: Lot on Prospect between E 22nd and E 24th.

I cannot attend – not one but two competing commitments on my agenda (with this one above, three). But I trust all the folks involved and look forward to hopefully some real-time twittering of the event in addition to mainstream media follow-up.

Then, tomorrow at 12noon at the City Club, I will be attending:

Ellen S. Miller
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
Shedding Light on Government

Friday, July 1st, 2011 – noon
Ellen Miller is co-founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two other prominent Washington-based organizations in the field of money and politics – the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign – and a nationally recognized expert on transparency and the influence of money in politics.

Ellen is outstanding in her work and I’ve heard her speak a few times at various forums.  She is also a regular user of Facebook and Twitter and evangelizes excellent information about good government and transparency and openness.

Finally, put this on your calendar as well:

The Transparency Action Plan Summit (TAP Summit) on July 29-30

The Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit will be informed by the principle that meaningful public involvement requires access to information. This principle applies at every level from neighborhood block groups all the way to national and international politics.

The Cleveland Coalition and our partners are committed to facilitating a well-informed, outcome-oriented planning session on the topic of county-level transparency. Advancing this issue requires effective leadership both inside and outside governmental institutions. Our coalition intends to provide meaningful leadership to augment work already being advanced by the Cuyahoga County Executive and Council.

The Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit will convene representatives from every major sector whose collaboration and productive exchange of ideas and information is essential to the health of our community. These groups include governmental officials, business leaders, legal professionals, IT professionals, nonprofit practitioners, and community activists.

Over the course of two days, participants will be educated about best practices across the country and the world in the area of transparency, the exciting work already underway at the county level, and current opportunities at the county level for innovation. The bulk of the summit will include planning and design phases during which participants will be tasked with developing a plan for advancing transparent practices and policies in our community.

As the name suggests, the Transparency Action Plan (TAP) Summit is a planning event, and as such will serve as the beginning for a path of dynamic, innovative public participation in the months and years ahead. Please join us July 29-30, 2011 to help articulate a strategy for moving our community forward, and establishing Cuyahoga County as a national leader in the area of government transparency and public engagement.

Very excited about all of those events.  Transparency – it does a (government & civic) body good.

Now for the local weekly paper burbmerger roundup:

From today’s Chagrin Valley Times, “Merger talks welcomed with some reservations”

From today’s Chagrin Solon Sun, “Pepper Pike, Orange, Moreland and Woodmere react to merger study talks”

Additionally, the conversation continues at The Civic Commons (Dan Moulthrop hints there at an upcoming Civic Commons podcast about the burbmeger) and there’s also an editorial cartoon in today’s Chagrin Solon Sun that shows the communities walking hand in hand in the persona of a man (with the words “Pepper Pike, Moreland Hills” on the clothing) and a woman (Orange Village, Woodmere on her clothing) and an observer of the couple suggests there’s a rumer going around that they may be getting married.  You’ll be able to see it here once it’s posted online.

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