by Carrie Shaw April 27th, 2010
When I first heard that Countywide Community Forums was going to focus on customer service as a county initiative I was a little underwhelmed. With May 1 the starting date for these forums, I am now enthused and motivated to participate in my neighborhood forum.
Why the change in heart? Think about it. You and I interact and benefit from essential services provided by King County each and every day. From public transportation, roads, bridges, vital records, sewer services, the county courts, police, the list goes on, and on.
A government employee culture — starting at the top — that embraces and rewards the treatment of you and I as true “customers” can only mean a more responsive, and thus, a more representative government. Isn’t that why we spend human capital talking about, implementing, and researching successful models for public participation and open government initiatives?
Of course it is. Not only is the topic of customer service as a government value a legitimate issue, it underscores the broader conversation about public trust in government, or the lack thereof, as many people would want to point out.
Civic cynicism and non-participation in the democratic process is rooted in the belief that government officials are unresponsive and inaccessible. That is where the issue of trust is undeniable to the health and well being of our civic and public institutions.
So, one vote, one voice, one opinion. If it’s yours, than it’s one of life’s most valuable possessions. From May 1 through June 13, Countywide Community Forums is giving you the opportunity to be heard. Plug in here and register, to get started. Then, bring your voice to a forum and make a crack in the wall of public cynicism.