EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 17, 2013

Letter: Zanni has kept promise on transparency

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Too often, we hear from candidates campaigning on how they want to increase transparency. However, rarely do we see those candidates put their words into action once elected. In the case of Methuen, Mayor Stephen Zanni’s record of results stands out when it comes to being a real leader in increasing transparency and opening the doors of City Hall.

When Mayor Zanni took office he immediately worked to connect City Hall with the community. This includes holding monthly forums featuring a different department head. These forums were held at the Senior Activity Center, open to the public, and included the department heads not only discussing the different programs they oversee — but also interacting with residents and answering questions.

Mayor Zanni built upon these forums by participating in a monthly show on Methuen Community Television. Rather than make these shows political, Mayor Zanni would be joined by different City Hall staff to be interviewed by local residents. These shows were eye-opening, and underscore Mayor Zanni’s commitment to keeping residents aware of how our city operates.

One of the biggest steps towards transparency is that Mayor Zanni produced Methuen’s first annual report in almost a decade. This report offers a detailed update on each of the city’s departments, and includes information as varied as to how our budget is funded, to how many tons of yard waste our city picks up. This information may seem trivial, but this report is an irreplaceable tool for anyone looking to learn more about how our city functions.

Increasing transparency may not be the most exciting issue, but it is an essential piece of democratic government. Mayor Zanni deserves credit for being proactive in this area, working diligently to make City Hall as accessible as possible. Mayor Zanni’s record of results is proof that his commitment to transparency is not just a campaign promise — it has been a hallmark of his administration.

These are just some of the reasons why I will be casting my vote to re-elect Mayor Zanni on Nov. 5.

Don Ganim