ACCOUNTABILITY IN politics is not too much to give your constituents. Often times such is not the case, however.
Martins Ferry appears a measuring stick for government accountability. That was showcased in full force Thursday.
New Mayor Paul Riethmiller obviously grasps the importance of such visibility and familiarity. He brought himself, his administration and the entire police force together for a public get-to-know-each-other session.
The idea was a worthwhile endeavor as more than 100 Martins Ferry residents took the time to meet the people who govern and protect their city. The session provided a rare opportunity for everyone from administration to citizens to get on the same page, enabling residents to put faces together with names that they would normally just read or hear about.
It also cast Police Chief John McFarland’s quality force in a more friendly light with the people it protects and serves. The entire police staff was in attendance, interacting with city residents, building trusts and weaving friendships. Those newly forged bonds could pay valuable dividends in the future.
Riethmiller also handed out informational literature that detailed the four wards in the city and explained which councilman served which ward. A contact sheet also was given to attendees, listing names, positions, telephone numbers and email addresses for all councilmen, members of the administration and the supervisors from the safety department.
It will prove useful data. Such information makes the Martins Ferry leadership available when needed, cutting through the red tape and potential delays.
Reithmiller said, “We want to be accessible.”
If Thursday’s public forum is any indication, the foundation for such is firmly in place.