In a panel sponsored by the Maryland Association of County Administrators, Maryland’s county leaders discussed topics in transparency and open data at MACo’s Winter Conference’s session, Living in a Glass House: Transparency and Data Management for County Governments.
The Honorable Bill Ferguson, Maryland State Senator and member of Maryland’s Council on Open Data moderated the panel of speakers featuring panelists Hans Riemer, Montgomery County Councilmember, Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, Executive Director, Common Cause Maryland and Lucas Cioffi, Co-Founder, qiqochat.com.
A full room of county elected officials, appointed officials, and private sector representatives attended the talk. To start, Senator Ferguson and Councilmember Riemer described programs in transparency and open data at the state level and in Montgomery County, a national leader in open data. Riemer shared the datasets and budget data that Montgomery County has published, the public’s interest, and plans for the future. Executive Director Bevan-Dangel spoke next, sharing the three part transparency and open data initiative from the broad coalition of organizations that make up the recently formed Maryland Transparency Network. Lucas Cioffi capped the presentations with a brief history of communications beginning with the telephone, and ending with social media, describing the advantages and opportunities that each technological progression represented, and the options for public engagement today.