Tom Ivacko, Democrat & Chronicle: Political scandals have long contributed to declining trust in all levels of government, stretching back to the days of Watergate, said Tom Ivacko, who heads the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.
Local governments have a leg up in restoring that trust because of the opportunity for direct contact with their constituents. Ivacko said engaging residents through surveys, oversight commissions and more can go a long way. But true accountability lies with its townspeople.
“People are busy with their own lives, but we do have a government of the people, and if they abandon their responsibilities and civic duties, they may not like what they end up with,” he said.