Outside Expertise

The CA reports that former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith will offer suggestions to the Metro Charter Commission on the topics of anti-corruption, ethics, economic development and government efficiency thanks to financial support from Rebuild Government.

From the article:

While Goldsmith’s initial report dealt with law enforcement, Rebuild Government also has asked the former mayor to write reports on anti-corruption, ethics, economic development and government efficiency.

“One of the things that kept coming up, and that we all know as an issue, was crime,” Darrell Cobbins, co-chairman of Rebuild Government, said Monday. “So we said: ‘Well, give us your thoughts, and maybe we can publish them and get them out to the public.’ His ideas could probably help inform us and give us a little bit of guidance on how we should be thinking about law enforcement and crime.”

Cobbins said he thinks the benefit is three-fold — Rebuild Government can post the report on its Web site, the commission has access to Goldsmith’s expertise, and the information is available to the public.

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, everyone already knows I’m a co-chair with Rebuild Government, and while I’m glad that an organization I’m working with is looking outside of Shelby County for help informing the public and adding to the conversation, promoting Rebuild is not what this is about.

Whether or not we choose to merge City and County government is largely up to two factors; the way the charter is drafted, and how engaged the people of Shelby County are in the process. So from my perspective, anything that draws people in to the conversation in a constructive manner is good stuff. Hopefully this will do that.

Further, in the event that we choose not to merge, this information will still likely be useful. Under that scenario, both the City and County governments will have the reports in front of them and can work to implement the ideas laid forth, and could help Mayor Wharton in the near term reinvent government here in Memphis as he works to institute the ideas set forth in a 2006 efficiency study that’s been gathering dust on the shelf for nearly 4 years.

In any case, I think everyone agrees that the status quo is not sustainable. How we get to the solution is currently up for discussion. Hopefully these reports as well as all the other information that will be coming out in the months ahead, will help us find our way forward with information instead of the divisiveness and fear that currently is dominating the conversation.

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