It's Time For
Common Sense, Accountability and Transparency
MATT MAHAN will bring accountability & transparency to our city government.
Election season is here — and already we are hearing promise after promise from the politicians running for Mayor.
Don’t believe them unless the candidates give you a clear plan on how they are going to deliver. Without that, it is just another political promise like so many we have heard before.
Matt knows the key to making change is making sure everyone is accountable for results — starting at the top. And that’s why he has introduced a bold accountability program that holds our city’s elected officials and top department heads accountable for results.
Matt’s plan is simple — unless we can prove we are making progress on reducing homelessness, cleaning the streets, reducing crime and on other key quality of life priorities, there will be zero raises for the elected officials or department heads.
Holding politicians accountable works. Our state budget used to almost always be late. After fed-up voters passed a law saying politicians wouldn’t be paid if they didn’t pass a budget, our budget has not been late once.
After founding a technology company that gave millions of citizens the tools they need to hold their government accountable, Matt ran for City Council in 2020 on a pledge to shake up City Hall. And one of his first actions was to suggest we introduce this kind of basic accountability to city government. The response shocked him. Basically, he was told: “that’s not the way things work.”
Well, it is the way your job probably works. If you can’t meet basic goals, you don’t get a raise. That’s common practice and common sense.
In case you hear that Matt’s plan is unprecedented — it is not. A few years ago, the State of California was notorious for virtually never passing a state budget on time. And then the citizens fought back and passed Prop 25, requiring that if the legislature didn’t deliver a budget on time, the legislators wouldn’t get paid.
Guess what happened? Every budget since that basic accountability measure went into effect has been on time.
We love our city — we just want it to work better. We need our city (and county and state) government to do a better job transitioning the homeless off the streets, cleaning our city and making every neighborhood safe.
But to get the job done, we need basic accountability at the top. And here is Matt’s plan to do just that.
Matt will create a public “Dashboard of Results” showing exactly what progress is being made — or not made — so the public always knows where the city stands.
Raises for politicians and department heads will be tied to how much progress they make in key areas like reducing homelessness, lowering crime and cleaning our city.
Absolute transparency of the metrics being used. Matt will create a public “Dashboard of Results” showing exactly what progress is being made — or not made — so the public always knows where the city stands.
A significant portion of the city’s budget is spent through service providers — including numerous private companies. These contracts need to be rigorously audited for results and if the outside contractors are not delivering as promised, the contracts should not be renewed.
Those bidding on city contracts should not be allowed to contribute to political campaigns to remove even a possibility of undue influence.
A public portal where residents can submit their issues and concerns online — and the public can see the status of these issues in real time. Everyone should be able to see the progress towards resolution on their individual issue. This absolute transparency serves as a constant reminder to us — the city government — of how we are doing on the quality of life issues that are so important to our city.
A public portal where residents can submit their issues and concerns online — and the public can see the status of these issues in real time.
Conduct a performance audit of key departments every two years — and make this audit public.
Require the city to report every year on the progress towards fixing the issues found.
Provide a “Money Back Guarantee” to residents who must often pay steep fees to the city government for basic home renovation and building permits. If permits are not processed on time, the fees should be refunded.
Conduct a performance audit of key departments every two years — and make this audit public and require the city to report every year on the progress towards fixing the issues found. Publish these audits — and actions taken — before every election so the voters can judge how their government is doing.
Invest in data-driven decision making. Compared to the private sector, we could be doing much better. The data we process and analyze improves our processes — meaning we can deliver more services at a lower cost. Matt has worked in the private sector — and in government. He has both experiences which gives him the insight that government can learn more from successful companies in Silicon Valley about how to deliver better customer service and use the power of data to find problems and solve them effectively.
Continue to allow the public to testify via Zoom and other channels. While we all want to put the pandemic behind us, it has shown us that if we give the public the opportunity to testify on important issues remotely, more people can participate. And the more people who participate, the stronger our democracy will be and the more effective our government will be.
Invest in app-based service delivery for the 21st century. Empower and expand the San Jose 311 app to be a crowdsourced one stop shop for reporting graffiti, abandoned vehicles, fireworks, and encampments and commit to aggressive, publicly available customer service goals around addressing these issues. Market the app to residents to increase the user base and enable advanced features like push notifications for volunteer events and more.
MATT KNOWS FROM HIS EXPERIENCE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND GOVERNMENT THAT PROMISES ARE JUST THAT – PROMISES.
What an organization needs, what a city needs, and what the public demands are results. And that starts with absolute transparency about goals, expenditures and program performance so that elected leaders and senior staff can be held accountable for making good decisions with our precious tax dollars.
Join Matt Mahan’s Revolution of Common Sense