Openness and transparency in local government are essential for a strong community. However, the burden this can place on already limited resources can make achieving transparency difficult. But despite the budget challenges and limited resources, openness and transparency are at the heart of good government. Local governments are the closest to the constituents and the policies and procedures they enact, services they provide, decisions they make directly affect the constituents more profoundly and have a greater impact on the lives of the constituents. For this reason, becoming an open and transparent local government is no longer an option. This must be at the heart of local governments. Becoming an open and transparent local government must begin with effective and efficient engagement with every constituent. Local governments must understand the needs and wants, their abilities and disabilities, their dreams and aspirations, and the strengths and weakness of their constituents. This level of comprehensive and meaningful engagement with every constituent will lead to local governments understanding their constituents better. This will lead to local governments enacting policies and procedures which enable and empower their constituents to improve the quality for themselves and others. This will lead to constituents contributing their time, talent, and treasure for developing a vibrant community and being involved in the working of local governments where every constituent feels welcomed and valued. The question remains, how could a local government foster an effective, efficient, and comprehensive engagement with their constituents?.
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