letter to editor

How much do you trust your government? If you’re like me, you believe in a phrase President Reagan made popular: “Trust, but verify.” 

In April 2010, while serving on the County Board before being elected treasurer, I put that philosophy into action when I called on Madison County officials to place our check register online. Later that year, the County Board finally agreed and made financial information available to residents. Ten years later, there is still much more work to be done. Even in my hometown of Wood River, city officials have resisted sharing information with the citizens they serve, and that must stop. 

Jeremy Plank, a certified public accountant and reform-minded candidate for City Council, recently unveiled his “A Transparent Wood River” initiative, which calls for utilizing the Ballotpedia.comMunicipal Transparency Checklist to make Wood River more accountable to its residents. The checklist includes common-sense items to disclose, including the city budget, audits, meeting agendas, open records information, contracts, and lobbying information. 

I support Mr. Plank’s initiative and have offered to partner with him to help Wood River transform its government into an accessible, accountable body that prioritizes the needs of its residents. As taxpayers, we have the right to see how every penny is being spent by our city government. After all, when we pay taxes and fees to the city, we’re expected to pay every single penny we owe. In 2021, there is absolutely no excuse for that information to not be publicly available at our fingertips, online, and in real time.

To learn more about Jeremy Plank’s plan, visit JeremyPlank.com.

Chris Slusser

Madison County Treasurer

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