When Ed Koch was Mayor of New York, he was famous for stopping people on the street and asking them “How’m I doing?”
Very few mayors are interested in generating such face-to-face feedback; most, like Mayor Ballard, seem to resent efforts to grade their performance. And that raises a legitimate question: How do we citizens decide whether Indianapolis is being governed well or poorly? How do we decide that for any city?
Are all such evaluations hopelessly subjective and/or political?
Perhaps not. As Citiscope reported recently, the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization is trying to help. It has issued a new measurement standard for cities–a rubric to follow when collecting data. Cities that choose to participate will have a new, objective mechanism with which to compare themselves with peer cities around the globe.
Take a look at the 46 performance indicators that participating cities will need to track (or fudge), and then use to compare themselves to others.
Where are we doing well, and where are we falling short?