We are pleased to share an additional, new feature on the City’s website to provide residents and members of the public greater access to City Hall. Located front and center on the City’s homepage at http://www.pvestates.org/, the Open Government Portal serves as a repository of the City’s public records to facilitate civic engagement, share information with the public, and present what we do in the back-office in support of materials presented in formal settings. Like a library filled with publications, the portal includes contracts, documents, reports and weblinks for the public’s information. We hope it is widely used for easy, quick, and direct access to records without necessitating a formal request to the City. Please take your time to familiarize yourself with the portal and remember to check in periodically for updates; additional information will be added as time passes and our data management systems are enhanced.
As a further expansion of the City’s on-going, evolving and enhanced community outreach, the public can also now subscribe to future City Manager letters (like this one) and City Weekly Updates. Click on “Sign Me Up” or http://www.pvestates.org/how-do-i/sign-up-for-e-notifications to receive notice of new postings for staying apprised on matters of community interest.
“Government Transparency” refers to the openness and accountability that is expected of government. The term is commonly used to denote that public resources and government officials are working in an open, clear and conspicuous manner, in full view of the public and in the public interest. Having information available, accessible, and subject to public inspection, in turn, engenders public trust.
I am very pleased that the Palos Verdes Estates City staff team, consistent with the ideals of transparency, is strongly motivated by public service, dedicated to their work, committed to Palos Verdes Estates, and constantly striving to do what is right. The team is professional and their responsiveness to the community - through customer service, continually working to enhance communications, and providing information - embodies openness and accountability. The City Council expects this of staff, the community relies on it, and our team works hard to fulfill the commitment.
Laws, such as the Ralph M. Brown Act and the Public Records Act necessitate that the public’s business be conducted in public and records be provided. Palos Verdes Estates exceeds such minimum requirements through information on the City’s website; meeting, corresponding, and talking with residents; holding workshops; utilizing the Commission/Committee structure for added public discourse; hosting community events; disseminating information on important topics; webcasting meetings; and, now, the “Open Government Portal.” As such, it is important to also recognize that it is beneficial to be a City that subscribes to and demonstrates an ethic of openness. Civic engagement is enhanced; informed decisions are made; the integrity and motivation of public officials is beyond reproach; and policies, best practices, and operational standards guide actions.
The “Open Government Portal” is a newly-added step in providing information to the community and we hope it serves as a useful resource. Please continue to visit the webpage as more and more documents and records are added.