An editorial in today's Herald News says that Mayor Flanagan's recent forum fell flat. The Herald specifically criticizes local bloggers and those who comment on the Herald News website for "suddenly having nothing to say" "when given the opportunity to directly address, in person, the city leaders they mercilessly second guess."
While it's true that few attended this initial forum, I personally resent this statement. I have attended such forums in the past. I have had conversations with our last 3 elected mayors, I have spoken with several of our city councilors. I have attended council meetings. I have attended school committee meetings. I have met candidates in person. In short I have taken an active interest in my community and I have discussed my concerns with our city leaders.
What a tremendous luxury it must be to be able to attend every meeting and discuss every issue all the while getting paid for it.
I enjoy no such luxury and chances are you don't either.
Instead I have to balance my desire to blog and my interest in the community with a full time job, a long-ass commute, and the other things that make up my life.
Let's not forget that any notice of this was last minute and the scheduled time when many of us are just getting home or having dinner with our families.
I still think the forum was a success. Just by having the forum Mayor Flanagan has proven that he wants to seek input from the community. The Herald even brings up the excellent idea of having a forum that includes an online chat, that would allow those of us unable to attend but with access to a computer to participate. Hopefully in the future these meetings will be promoted better and further in advance.
Like the Herald I would urge Mayor Flanagan not to get too discouraged, sometimes it takes a few attempts for a good idea to take hold.