And so the story starts ….
I’m going to try to be fair here with this. I’m not in to put-downs. I’m also beginning to wonder if my little experience is symptomatic of something bigger at play.
I’ll also walk a fine line by summarizing the gist of exchanges rather than quoting from emails that were never, on either of our parts, intended to be public.
No matter if you particularly like Aim High or not, I think that most folks recognize that one main purpose of the blog is to provide a forum for local matters of public interest or concern.
To that extent, Aim High has posed lots of questions to public figures. We’re not talking about an onslaught of daily queries and certainly not anything that involves personal attacks. While I have my opinions I try to remain neutral when asking for feedback from most. I vigorously moderate questions, responses and comments for civility. That’s a pledge that I give to not only the politicos but to everyone and I feel that I’ve upheld that consistently.
I’m talking about a few general questions that crop up over time that I then pose to the politicos. Can you give a summary of the conference that you attended? Would you consider posting your expenses on a quarterly basis publicly? What are your thoughts about … ?
As a further example: The four main candidates in the last provincial election responded to 15 different questions sent in by Aim High’s readers over the course of the election. It was informative as those politicos made an effort to communicate in a variety of media streams.
A number of Salmon Arm’s councillors have responded to both direct questions, reported on conferences they’ve attended and have left comments that are thoughtful and helpful. Thanks to them!
Except for one major exception … not so our mayor.
I do understand a ‘No Thanks’ response. Marty Bootsma, Mayor Cooper’s predecessor, would do Observer interviews but rarely (if ever) had a monthly column or a blog … let alone responses to a blogger.
What I’m puzzled by is the mayor’s contorted rationale as to why she won’t respond to me on some pretty straight-forward public questions.
Part Three: On One Hand and on the Other will be up in a day or two.
* See the Part One intro here.