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Robert Higgs
By Robert Higgs July 21, 2011

Efforts to this point have promoted transparency

In the wake of the Cuyahoga County corruption scandal, voters swept away the old form of government with three county commissioners and other elected officeholders in favor of a charter government with a single executive in charge.

In the spirit of that reform, County Executive Ed FitzGerald promised to conduct business in the open.

In a campaign position statement, he promised to "ensure that the decision making process of county government is open and transparent.

"Only by conducting our business in the open can we restore public trust in local government. Transparency not only discourages questionable dealings, it also yields better public policy by encouraging public participation.”

Since taking office, FitzGerald has put into place several measures to promote open government.

A lot of information is available through the official website for the county executive. Among the information available there:

When The Plain Dealer has requested to see his appointment calendar, his office has complied. FitzGerald"s staff also has fulfilled requests for public records.

And the county executive has taken the government show on the road with town hall meetings that let county residents ask questions directly. The first, in May, drew about 200 people to the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building in Shaker Heights. His plan is to hold them regularly, rotating through the county"s 11 council districts.

It"s still early in FitzGerald"s term, and a lot can still happen. But based on his performance to this point, we move the Fitz-O-Meter for this pledge to Promise Kept.

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