Today, Ward Three City Council candidate Matthew Shoemaker released his four-point openness pledge to voters. The pledge describes how Shoemaker will be answerable to voters in Ward Three and accessible to residents around the City, if he is elected on October 27th.
“I have talked during this campaign about my desire to see City Hall become more transparent,” said Shoemaker. “I have also brought forward ideas to increase accountability. However, I realize if I am elected to represent Ward Three, I have to hold myself to a similarly high standard.”
“By making this pledge, I want Ward Three residents to know that I will be answerable and accountable to them at all times. I am always going to try to do more than what is required to be transparent and to maintain good communication,” added Shoemaker.
The four points of Shoemaker’s openness pledge are:
To voluntarily post his voting record as councillor online, in an easy-to-find location;
To voluntarily post his travel and other Council-related expenses online, in an easy-to-find location;
To communicate proactively with residents using a variety of methods; and,
To answer all inquiries and messages promptly and courteously.
“I know that several candidates around the city are also interested in improving accountability at City Hall,” remarked Shoemaker. “If I am elected, I look forward to working with other like-minded councillors to make our council and city a model of openness.”
Shoemaker previously brought forward accountability proposals to require City funded organizations to release more information to the public and for Council to develop a bimonthly “report card” to track PUC issues. Shoemaker would also like to see the City of Sault Ste. Marie voluntarily disclose more information on its website.
“I definitely believe the City can do more, both by increasing the amount and types of information it releases online and by making it easier to find,” said Shoemaker. “It would be nice to be able to find detailed departmental budgets and staff travel expenses without having to hunt through 300 or 400 page documents.”
Combined with his transparency pledge, Shoemaker has also expressed his support for the Ontario government’s Bill 8. This bill would give the Ontario Ombudsman the authority to review municipalities and other organizations that currently operate without independent oversight.
“If I am elected to serve Ward Three, I know that I will need to be accountable to my constituents 365 days per year—not just at election time. I pledge to do this by voluntarily putting important information online, by communicating proactively with residents, and by being responsive and courteous when contacted for help,” concluded Shoemaker.