WATERLOO — State Auditor Rob Sand held town halls in 13 counties over the weekend looking for “recipes for efficiency.”
The goal is to find better ways to run local governments and save money, part of his “Public Innovations and Efficiency” proposal, or PIE. Sand is asking people for their “pie recipes.”
“Send us your ideas for how to innovate and make more efficient local and county and state government,” Sand said. “We’ll have a pie contest every year where we’re going to recognize some of the top performers at the county and the local level.”
It is the first time a state auditor has hit the road.
“It’s not just the first time an auditor has done town halls, it’s also the first an auditor has actually used the office’s authority to make efficiency recommendations,” Sand said. “We were traveling and getting feedback.”
Sand displayed a sheet of paper full of ideas from Iowans from over the weekend.
One proposal from Muscatine and Sioux City concerns capturing and selling methane from waste treatment as opposed to burning it, he said. Switching to LED lights is on the list. You can see Sand’s PIE plan and submit ideas at www.auditor.iowa.gov/pie
“Every year we expect that we’re going to have different ideas that people will give to us that we want to spread,” Sand said.
Sand said the town halls are not politically motivated.
“Can an elected official talk to constituents about a new initiative without it being suggested that’s it in some way bad?” he asked. “I’d welcome the people who instead just wanted to criticize me to send in their ideas, too.”
Sand sought comments from Republican officials as well as Democrats.
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“I’m glad that there are people in the Republican Party who are happy to be a part of this effort to save taxpayer money,” Sand said.