One of the key components to the health of a community is the transparency, accountability and responsiveness of its government.

We believe one of the ways to measure this is voter turnout. Increasing the number of people who participate in their democracy means making sure voters are informed. To do that, we will place news events in context to give voters understanding of what the actions of their public officials really mean.

It means looking at the public safety services local governments provide their citizens. It means making sure that when a public official says he or she will do something, someone follows through checks to see if he or she did it. It means looking at the way public dollars are spent and what they are spent on.

It also means making sure that there is follow-up in the public dialogue once headline-grabbing issues and initiatives fall out of the daily news cycle. For example, when a public discussion about incentives that governments offer economic development projects came to the forefront, we researched which companies received these incentives in the past, how much tax money they remove from public coffers and when they are set to expire.


As city charter turns two, questions remain

Yesterday was the second birthday of our mayor-council form of government. Are the "terrible twos" still ahead? Read full story


Occupy Pensacola marches on City Hall

After being told by Mayor Hayward that their tents would not be welcome on City property, Occupy Pensacola protestors wrangled a two week reprieve from the City Council. Read full story


Governor examining state's special districts

Describing Governor Rick Scott's agenda for the 2012 legislative session, aide Jon Costello told lawmakers the governor intends to "shine a light" on the state's more than 1,600 special districts, which command over $15 billion in tax revenue, but that he is "not looking to take an ax" to them. Read full story


Is the City killing its golden goose?

ESP has become an increasingly integral part of the City's budget, even as revenues have failed to meet expectations for the last few years. By raising rates to maintain funding for this year, are we sabotaging future revenue? Read full story


Three local funding requests vetoed by Scott

Governor Scott's budget does not include funding requests for local public broadcasting stations, nor a proposed $417k roundabout at Bayfront and Ninth that would reopen Government Street to the east. Read full story