For whom the Bell Tolls: Citizens in California Demanding their City Back


In Bell, California tempers boiled over.  Citizens stood up.  They engaged for change, directly.

And open government data may have stopped it, had it been implemented.  The city manager was receiving a salary of over $800,000 USD.  That is nearly twice President Obama’s salary.

Why did citizens not know.  The salary was decided on in secret.  Salaries were not reported.  And the pension board that did know, were not allowed to release the information.

So this is the other side of the concerns voiced earlier in this post about disclosing salaries.  We need to hit the right balance.  The risk is more than just folks pulling down irrational salaries.  In the case of Bell, California, these salaries blocked out the ability to fuly employ public safety officials.  It created layoffs, that should not have been necessary.  It starved out service delivery mechanisms that could have served her citizens well.

Instead, the secrecy protected an incredible salary, for just one man.


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Matt Miszewski has been a leader of incredible teams, that accomplished unbelievable goals - together. From rebuilding an enterprise technology strategy from the ground up as Chief Information Officer of the State of Wisconsin to driving a struggling global sales and marketing team to live beyond their potential and helping take their stock from $45/sh to over $110/sh, I have been honored to take on huge challenges and beat them by building collaborative and high performing teams. I was proud to be a regular speaker on Digital Realty's earnings call each quarter and being able to brief and advise the Board of Directors each quarter. Focusing on our shareholders needs while coupling that focus with the needs of our top customers was the combination the street was searching for and our increase in equity value proves the effort worthwhile. Our focus on total leasing costs, net present value of long term leases, closing the gap on cash performance and elimination of stagnant inventory helped to drive a stalled stock. Most proud of standing up a revenue engine that will be used for decades including a renewed global salesforce, inside sales expertise, demand generation focus, new global Partners and Alliances program, sales operations team and a heightened focus on connecting lead development to sales outcomes (including a new social marketing program, AR/PR, digital presence, brand identity refresh, SEO/SEM and a regular campaigning process). Combining decades of technology leadership with this commercial success creates an incredible package to unleash revenue and hack growth for companies from any industry out there.

2 Responses to “For whom the Bell Tolls: Citizens in California Demanding their City Back”

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