County launches effort to increase transparency, accountability

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How long does a resident wait in the lobby of the Pierce County Auditor’s office?  How many County residents have earned a 4-year college degree?  Starting today, residents and other interested parties can find out at open.piercecountywa.gov.

The Open Pierce County website is the County’s latest in a series of projects designed to increase transparency and accountability. It contains up-to-date measures that provide greater insight into community wellbeing and County government performance.

“Our goal is to give people a clear window into their County government,” said Brian Hardtke, director of Policy and Deputy Counsel. “We’ve been working since Executive Dammeier announced this initiative in his 2018 State of the County Address. There’s still a lot of work ahead, but we’re pleased to have reached this important milestone and we’re excited to get more and more information about Pierce County out to the public.”

The effort began with the launch of an easy-to-use online public records request portal and continued with a new convenient site to track public nuisance complaints.  Earlier this year, the County began posting information about union negotiations and contracts involving a few bargaining units. In addition, Pierce County’s main website was updated to optimize it for mobile devices.

The months-long initiative, called #OpenPierceCounty, has culminated in the launch of three segments on Pierce County’s website.

The newest portion, Open Performance, focuses on the degree to which the County is accomplishing its goals related to three main priorities:

  • Vibrant Communities
  • Entrepreneurial Climate
  • Effective Government

Each priority contains four areas of focus.  For example, Vibrant Communities includes public safety, behavioral health, environmental conditions, and housing performance information.

Other portions of the #OpenPierceCounty site are Open Budget, a guided view through complex financial information, and Open Data, where individuals can view datasets, metadata and create their own filters and charts from the data.

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