Transparency. What’s that?

While all of our mayoral candidates talk about transparency, it seems they want to blame someone else for that lack of transparency;

Taxpayers deserve to see a report about concerns at the Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center, several candidates for Sioux Falls mayor said Thursday.

The report so far is off-limits to the public, but Kermit Staggers and other mayoral candidates say the question of whether it should be released is an easy one.

“That’s a no-brainer,” Staggers said after a mayoral forum. “That Multi-Cultural Center is supported by tax dollars. There should be no question. It should be on the Internet.”

While Staggers is correct, I wonder what steps the council and mayor are taking to make this public? The money we give them alone should be enough to get that document out there.

The Multi-Cultural Center receives about $185,000 a year in city money, according to city budget documents. In addition, the county provides it rent-free space in the former Coliseum building on North Main Avenue, which amounts to $200,000 a year in county support.

Twedt also serves on the Multi-Cultural Center’s board and has seen the report. Although she understands the desire to learn the facts of it, Twedt said it would be up to the Multi-Cultural Center’s board to release it – not her.

Really? You and the city council are elected officials that are supposed to be protectors of our tax dollars. You should be DEMANDING that the report be made public.

New Multi-Cultural Center Board Chairwoman Mary Medema, who was named to her position this week after the resignations, said “that report may not be appropriate for the public.”

Maybe $385,000 dollars in taxpayer support is not APPROPRIATE? After 4 board members resign, and the director is put on administrative leave for over 3 weeks, one would think that not everything is Hunky-Dorry at the multi-cultural center . . . I’m just saying. Either make the report public, or we should cut off the public funding IMMEDIATELY!

That would send a clear message about transparency in government.