Making government more accessible and information more available to citizens has been a core value for me during my time in both the House of Representatives and as Woodstock's mayor.
While in the legislature, I pioneered transparency measures in campaign finance by sharing daily, down-to-the-penny financial updates online. I was the first to live-tweet legislative votes from the House floor. And during the legislative sessions, I shared a write-up on every single vote I cast. All these measures were to make things more accessible.
As I have led the City of Woodstock for the past year, I've been proud to see the culture of transparency and open accessibility shared by our City's staff. I have witnessed a team of dedicated public servants constantly seeking ways to better involve and inform the public on the City's activity while searching for innovative ways to share information.
First and foremost, Woodstock is governed by a city council and mayor. We live broadcast all meetings and share the recordings and minutes online. In addition to the live broadcasts and historical archives, we publish two agendas prior to every meeting. An agenda packet accompanies each agenda, which contains all the supporting information tied to each agenda item. These packets often run 500-600 pages long, and they are the exact same information that elected officials receive prior to a meeting. In fact, we access it on WoodstockGa.gov through the same links as the public.
Meetings are also always open to the public.
We meet at 7:00pm on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of most months, and we have a "work session" (similar format and also open to the public) at 7:00pm on the 3rd Monday.
Curious about the City's finances?
We publish budget information and comprehensive annual reports going back for years, so you can see how we're stewarding your money today and compare it to the past. Our budget process is also part of the public meetings.
Want to know about our organizational structure or leadership?
We publish our entire organization chart, contact information for each of the departments and City leadership, and contact information for all councilmembers on the website as well.
Are you a cartophile (lover of maps)?
Our GIS department publishes incredibly helpful maps such as our recently negotiated (with Cherokee County) annexation growth boundary map, maps to help you determine if you live within city limits or who your councilmember is, zoning maps, parking locations, and much more.
Recently, we launched two public-facing map tools that help answer the most frequent questions people ask me: "What is going on at (any location)?" and "What is the City doing with (any road or intersection)?" First, the new "Major Projects Map" conveniently displays all the upcoming developments in the city, filtered by "Public Hearing Cases" (still in process), "Approved" (pending construction), and "Under Construction." Second, the new "Transportation Projects Map" displays both currently slated projects as well as recently completed projects.