Rick Mihalevich seeks to improve public perception of council

New 2nd Ward Councilman J. Rick Mihalevich stands in the City Council chambers.

New 2nd Ward Councilman J. Rick Mihalevich stands in the City Council chambers. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

As a newly elected councilman, J. Rick Mihalevich hopes to see improvements on the public perception of the city and economic development strategies.

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Mihalevich has become one of three new members on the Jefferson City Council, being sworn in last week. He said his main focus on the council will be to improve the city’s public image of accountability. He said it’s not a transparency issue, but simply a need to better convey city accountability to the public.

“One of my goals is to ... show what indicators that are important for our citizens and show how we’re doing on those things,” Mihalevich said. “Are projects under budget and on time? Are we handling citizen complaints in a timely and efficient manor? Are we spending the public dollars in the best interest?”

The information on city projects and spending are all available, he said, but it’s about improving the way people access that information. In his field, Mihalevich said it’s called “data visualization,” a way of making information more user-friendly and improving communication between the city and the public.

“The problem is how you present it,” he said. “It’s how you present it as much as what you present. If people want to dig for the facts, it’s all there.”

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