Last month, the Riverside County Board of Supervisor’s took action to improve the transparency of its meetings’ agenda.

For example, no longer will items be on the agenda with details to come later. A complete Form 11 (the description and discussion of the item) must be available when it is placed on the agenda.

Financial implications of the item must be clearly stated in Form 11, rather than obscured within attachments. This includes the project’s total cost, whether new or being modified. In addition, the long-term operating costs to support a capital project should be stated, too.

Finally, the board wants included some identification of the project’s effect on the private sector. This would be a discussion of the fiscal or regulatory impact, if any, to taxpayers, residents or employers in the county.

As a model, Supervisors Kevin Jeffries and Jeff Stone referenced San Diego County’s agenda, which identifies a fiscal and business impact within board reports.

Both felt these changes, which were adopted, would “… increase transparency and accessibility to the public as well as improve our ability to obtain relevant information on issues appearing before the board.”