The City of Enterprise has utilized transparency software for its financial transactions for about one year, and the results have impressed one official so far.
“It’s performed better than I thought (and) I wasn’t skeptical,” said Jason Wright, Enterprise’s communications director. “We haven’t had any complaints or any issues. I think it’s going good.”
The system allows the general public to view every financial transaction the city makes – ranging from purchases to payroll. While some officials may be hesitant about displaying salary information, Wright said simple conversations often quell those worries.
“I think it comes with education to employees,” he said. “As a city employee, you work for and are accountable to the citizen. It’s no different if the public comes (to city hall) and asks for it. If they ask for it, we have to give it to them.
“If you expect (transparency) at the federal level and you expect it at the state level, they should expect it at the local level.”
Establishing the system required some man-hours as officials worked to ensure personally identifiable information like Social Security number would not be displayed. Officials also ensured other legally protected information would be safe, as well, Wright noted.
Otherwise citizens view the same things as city personnel do.
“It’s tied directly into the financial software. What is seen in the portal is seen internally,” Wright said. “Once it gets up and running, it updates when we update.”
The system has benefited the City of Enterprise in one way – the saving of man-hours. Wright said the number of Freedom of Information Act requests have declined dramatically since the city instituted the system.
The online portal can be viewed under the “Transparency” tab of the City of Enterprise’s website www.enterpriseal.gov .
Some Houston County residents have suggested the Houston County Commission institute transparency software during some recent meetings. As a reporter, I believe in an open government, so I fully support the suggestion for all governmental entities.
Water outage: Dothan Utilities will be repairing water mains near the intersections of Front Porch Court with Bethlehem Road and JB Chapman Road with Fulton Drive Wednesday, causing water outages in the area.
During the repair, water is expected to be out in the following neighborhoods or areas from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon (weather permitting):
>> Murphy Mill Landing subdivision
>> Goody Lane
>> 5000-6800 blocks of JB Chapman Road
>> Bethlehem Fields subdivision
>> The Oaks subdivision
>> Paradise Acres subdivision
>> Griffingate subdivision
>> Old Kentucky Way subdivision
>> Bluegrass Trail and
>> 800-2500 blocks of Bethlehem Road.
During the repairs, equipment and personnel will be operating in the right-of-way, so officials request that resident minimize traffic in the area. They also encourage people to drive carefully in the area during the construction project.
Meeting schedule: After a quiet last week, local governmental meetings ramp up this week.
The Dothan City Commission meets Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Dothan Civic Center, while the Dothan Board of Zoning Adjustment convenes at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the same place. The BZA will consider a request that will aid the expansion of the Agri-AFC fertilizer plant in south Dothan.
The Houston County Commission conducts its administrative meeting Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Houston County Administration Building, while Dothan’s Historic Preservation Commission meets at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Dothan Civic Center.