NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Bill Haslam said Monday that as governor he would create a “dashboard” of key data to measure the state’s progress and hold his administration accountable.
The Knoxville mayor said in a speech to the Nashville Rotary Club that his administration would issue an annual report card on key indicators like jobs, education, fiscal strength, health and public safety.
“Every morning, if I’m governor, I’m going to wake up and look at that dashboard,” he said.
Haslam said the idea for a data dashboard came from his time as an executive with family founded Pilot Corp., a national truck stop chain that is one of the largest privately owned companies in the country.
“We want to measure accountability in state government,” Haslam said. “That’s how you run your businesses, and I think that’s the same way we can run state government.”
Haslam faces Democrat Mike McWherter in this fall’s election to succeed term-limited Gov. Phil Bredesen.
“Bill Haslam seems infatuated with creating more bureaucracy in state government, but yet again he fails to give any concrete evidence that he has a plan to create jobs,” said McWherter spokesman Shelby White. “This is just another gimmick masquerading as policy.”
Haslam said he would wait until he assembled his administration before deciding exactly what data to measure and which benchmarks to set.
“Ultimately, that’s what I’m hiring commissioners to do,” Haslam said. “So if you’re in economic development, we’re going to agree on what your measurements are going to be.”
The mayor acknowledged that it takes longer to demonstrate a change in outcomes in the public sector than it does in business.
“It takes a long time to move the needle,” he said. “I mean changing the rate of violent crime is going to take a while… But I want everyone to know that we are grading ourselves, and here’s how.”
Haslam also declined to elaborate on specific goals his administration would set.
“I think it’s too early to say that,” Haslam said. “But it is fair to say, ‘Did he, as governor, move the needle on that?'”