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Shouldn't we expand our review of government?”

Seeking transparency

I don't suppose most people who moved to Shorewood and living here do so because of the excellent government that we have here.

They would probably be more concerned with our excellent school system.

I'm sure that the greater majority couldn't name one Village Board member. Nor would they know when the Village Board meets or how often.

Most of us expect average services of our local government and that's about it.

We used to have a local newspaper which focused greater attention on what was happening locally. Even the Milwaukee paper reported on some things that were happening here.

Now we may occasionally see one or two reports on what our government has done or is doing in the North Shore Herald, a weekly section of the Journal/Sentinel.

Newspapers all over the country are declining as to broadness and depth of reporting as they experience financial stress. I don't think that we can expect the situation to improve.

General citizen apathy and a decline in newspaper coverage of local governmental activities, along with a system of locally elected officials without defined constituencies, tends to operate against transparent and representative government.

Although local governments seek citizen participation and often boast about it, the form in which it exists usually leaves much to be desired, although citizens who do participate should be recognized for their contributions.

Now that the problem of declining interest in local government is being discussed and somewhat recognized to be a weakness in our democratic system, the question becomes one of what to do about it.

I think that here ind Shorewood, the Village Board should expand the Village “Manager's Memo” and rename it, perhaps, “The Shorewood Tribune,” and assign several staff members to write weekly reports on various subjects and significant activities. Citizens should be encouraged to write opinion pieces.

What do Board members think about this? I know you're out there. Let's give this some thought. What do you think and what are you going to do? Let's hear from you. Especially, those of you re-running for office.

Shouldn't we have an improved information vehicle and basis for expanding our review of government?

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