In other good news from the meeting today, this blog you're reading has now been officially authorized by a resolution of the City Council.
Robin and I (with Robin really playing the more active role to be sure) have been working on this since January, when I took office. I promised in last year's campaign to blog, as part of my commitment to communicate with residents of the Ward, thinking that it would be easy. Someone on the Council must already be blogging, I thought. Some system must exist.
Wrong. We had to invent the system ourselves. Robin took part in a number of meetings starting in late January with the City Clerk, Merry Keefe, (who was extremely helpful throughout this process) and staff from the Attorney's Office, the City's technology folks, the Communications department and sometimes representatives from the Mayor's office. That group decided that Elected Official's blogs would have to be authorized by a resolution, which Robin and the Attorney's office then wrote. The group also wrote a preliminary set of policies and procedures.
Then we brought it to the Council, and it was much more difficult getting my colleagues to sign on than I ever would've expected. Some Council Members were worried about costs and liability. At least one was concerned that Elected Officials' blogs would be used to bash people, having just lived through a very rancorous reelection fight. CM Ostrow needed an extra check-in in 60 days (in addition to the already-scheduled report to Council in 6 months) in order to support the resolution.
We ended up winning 7-4, after a lenghty and interesting discussion. (CMs Glidden and Lilligren, both of whom agreed to co-author the resolution, were not present for the vote.)
We were quite surprised at how difficult it was to do this, but I'm happy we did the work. It's important to be able to share my thoughts with you in this way and read your responses.
I do encourage you to comment. Now that we have passed this hurdle, let's make the most of this new tool.
Thanks for reading and responding. You make it worth the trouble.