Elected officials should perform duties with openness, transparency

Recently, the governor’s office deflected attention to the troubles at UDOT by saying, “External attempts to politicize the process are neither constructive nor appropriate. The governor has been very clear: Facts and performance, not politics, will govern the decision-making in these administrative processes.”

But the Denice Graham story is as much about politics as was the original $13 million payment to a losing I-15 bidder. In the 2010 governor’s race, I was criticized for saying our state’s political system was corrupt because it allows bidders on state contracts to give large campaign contributions to the governor. At its core, the troubles are not about politics but about questions of accountability, ethics and transparency. The I-15 payout and Denice Graham incident are just the latest results of what happens when accountability, ethics and transparency are not taken seriously by some in our state government.

Accountability, ethics and transparency are things I have spent many years addressing as Salt Lake County mayor. I certainly have room for improvement, but I take them seriously. So do our citizens. In this regard, I have watched with interest the work of…

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