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Doylestown Borough recipient of ‘Open Book Award’for best practices in government transparency

Published Monday, December 16, 2013

DOYLESTOWN, PA – Dec. 16, 2013 – The Suburban REALTORS® Alliance announced today that Doylestown Borough is the recipient of the organization’s annual “Open Book Award for Transparency in Local Government.” The borough was chosen from 238 municipalities in southeastern Pennsylvania for its efforts to provide residents and local businesses with detailed, up‐to‐date information about public meetings, proposed ordinances, borough finances and existing rules and regulations.

“The Open Book Award recognizes the efforts of boroughs and townships in southeastern Pennsylvania to put the publics’ right‐to‐know at the forefront of their business and activities,” said Jamie Ridge, President/CEO of the Alliance. “Doylestown Borough’s willingness to provide easy and open access to critical public information is an excellent example for other area municipalities to follow.”

Among Doyletown Borough’s best practices are a robust municipal website with access to meeting schedules, draft ordinances, minutes and agendas; a highly detailed annual budget process that includes placing key documents online; and openly encouraging communication between staff, elected officials and residents and businesses in the township.

“We're proud to be a community that uses the web and social media to improve engagement with our residents and simplify their interactions with local government,” said Det Ansinn, Doylestown Borough Council President. “While it is great to be recognized, we are still working to further improve resident access to valuable information and bring government into the 21st century. Everyone benefits from this increased transparency and level of communication.”
“While residents of Doylestown may not agree with every decision made by borough officials, they are privileged to have open access to the process used to make those decisions,” said Ridge. “That is certainly not the case in all municipalities, some of which hold on too tightly to information that should be easily accessible to the tax‐paying public.”

Established in 1998, the 9,000 member Suburban REALTORS Alliance is a subsidiary of the three largest local REALTOR associations in Pennsylvania: the Bucks County; Montgomery County and Suburban West Associations of REALTORS. The focus of the Alliance is to encourage public policy decisions that create a positive climate for real estate sales, consumers, and property rights.

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