Summer Schooling 2017, Part 5: Marana is Transparent and Accessible

Did you know that the Parks and Recreation Department spent $2.59 on paper clips in September 2016? Would you be interested to know that the cost of the chlorine that purifies the Town’s drinking water totaled $23,838.28 last year? Regardless of whether you are interested in the financial nitty-gritty, the Town strives to provide the public with as much information as possible. The finance department operates a  Financial Transparency Dashboard which allows the curious constituent to explore the Town’s expenditures, revenues and vendor payments down to the smallest purchase.

In addition to financial transparency, the town is dedicated to being easily accessible to the public.

A Town Council Meeting is a fundamental function of a local government. These meetings provide citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on policy items or simply to get the inside scoop on what’s happening around the community. Marana’s Town Council Meetings are open to the public and typically held twice a month. These meetings are subject to strict Open Meeting Laws which dictate actions such as, the proper way to notify the public about a council meeting, the requirements pertaining to the distribution of agendas, and the required information which must be present within the minutes of a public meeting.

If you are physically unable to attend a council meeting, the Town live-streams every meeting and study session, these are then archived and can be watched online. This is another example of the Town encouraging civic participation while happily sharing the exciting things happening around Marana.

The Town openly welcomes citizen engagement through participation in boards and commissions. The responsibilities of these boards range from providing recommendations to the Council on matters relating to zoning and land development, to reviewing the operation budget for the Town’s Water Department. If you have an interest in broad, town-wide issues; the Marana Citizens’ Forum may be a perfect opportunity to become involved. The Forum is comprised of up to 32 delegates from around the community whom share a common goal of bettering Marana. The Forum creates recommendations of ways to improve the town and presents those suggestions to council. If you are interested in applying for any of the Town’s Boards and Commissions or the Marana Citizens’ Forum, more information can be found on the Town’s website.

A top priority for Marana is accessibility to the public. A citizen concerned about graffiti in their neighborhood might imagine reporting the problem would be a lengthy process resulting in a great deal of paperwork. However, on the contrary, Marana has created a few innovative ways to streamline the reporting process - efficiently resolving the request.  These requests can be easily submitted through the Town’s website or on the My Marana Mobile App and as mentioned in my previous blog, the average time for a request to be submitted and closed is only four days. This “help me, help you” level of service is truly something Marana prides itself in.

After spending about a month with the Town, I have noticed Marana is dedicated to providing excellent service coupled with transparency and accessibility to all citizens. It is refreshing to see an organization that is open and honest with its operations and truly has the best intentions for Marana.