For 2013 I talked about shaping your neighborhood:

At a high level we make an effort to shape the type of neighborhood we live in. It isn’t always easy (and sometimes takes a fair bit of work), but it has always been worth it. In the coming year we are going to try and do more along the same lines, which seems to mostly involve sharing food with people who live around us.

We brought food to new neighbors, shared treats during the holidays, and shoveled a fair bit of snow.

In 2014 I want to expand the radius a bit. Lets expand beyond our neighborhood and start getting more familiar with our city governments. For me that is Sandy, Utah.

In many cases you can do basic research about your city online. Sometimes really interesting items can be found. For example, the mayor of Sandy, Utah is the highest paid mayor in the state of Utah, despite only being the sixth largest city in the state. At $160,329 for 2013 it is more than the governor of Utah made ( $151,294 ).

Now for some specific goals. For 2014 I am going to attend at least four city council meetings. Sandy has city council meetings Tuesday at 7pm most weeks ( some of them get canceled for holidays or other events ). I will also read the city budget, which is more than 250 pages ( PDF ). After doing those two things I’ll follow what ever interesting items come up.

Go watch your local government. Find out when your city council meets and attend a few meetings. Find a copy of your city budget and start looking at where the money is going. If you find something interesting, follow up on it, ask questions until you get answers.