In order to beg for a piece of the stimulus pie, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released their list of “shovel ready projects” that they feel are good candidates for pork spending with funds from the stimulus package.
StimulusWatch.org is a great way to look at what America’s mayors think is a good idea to spend other people’s tax dollars on. More than a simple listing of projects in the Conference of Mayors report, Stimulus Watch is a wiki that allows citizen involvement – you can vote whether a project is necessary or not, list points for and against it, and make comments.
It seems to be working. Users are leaving comments and actually discussing the reasons for and against many of the projects. And while there are a few proposals which are drawing positive support, most are getting voted down. Citizens are also giving a bit of valuable: in response to a $3.5 million plan to refurbish the sidewalks in Old Town Alexandria, Va., one resident reveals that the city already makes regular repairs.
As Ars Technica notes, by opening the process up with a wiki-style interface, Stimulus Watch is light years ahead of the Obama Administration’s definition of “transparency.”