It needs easier access to information.
There, this post could end right now and the problem would have been solved but, I’ll explain anyways.
Thursday the county charter review commission voted against expanding the current 6 member county board to 8 members. And it was the right call. The current size is exactly where it needs to be.
You see, there has been a lot of controversy in county government over the last year. No one liked the county redistricting appointments, negotiations for a domestic partnership registry were tense at times, and the Sunrail debate went right down to the wire.
But during those debates the problem was never with the size of the county commission it was the availability of the information to the community.
Unless a resident of Orange County puts aside a portion of their day to aggressively seek out information about the issues, they’re going to have a hard time finding what they’re looking for and when important and potentially controversial issues come before the Commission. Then you have residents feeling like they’ve been duped and that the political process is taking place behind closed doors, instead of out in the sunshine.
Not to mention additional costs to the taxpayers. More commissioner salaries, more resources needed to serve constituents and more confusion over who’s in who’s district.
Oh, but Orange County Government isn’t off the hook, they must do a better job of making announcements and information easily accessible.
Look at the County Website….. see all that empty real estate on the lower half of the screen. There should be an aggressive listing of open board appointments.
Every member must be using social media correctly. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Only two members use it effectively on a regular basis. One doesn’t use it at all. This is a must! Put the widgets on their County profile page.
Return phone calls! Commissioners don’t do it. Instead phone calls are vetted through staff and don’t always get through (I know firsthand).
Both sides have work to do. The county has to eliminate excuses that have caused these problems and if activists and adversaries still aren’t happy, they need to find better leadership and mobilize on the campaign trail.
The size of the Orange County Commission is fine.