08 April, 2011

Why Do I Have To Explain To St. Albans' Titular Leaders Why Basic Information Should Be Posted On The City Website?

Attention Generation X and Generation Y: Half your city's titular leaders go to bed every night hoping that when they awake in the morning it will be 1955 again; the other half just go about their business pretending that it's still 1955.  As one 28-year-old man said to me after the meeting, "St. Albans has gone backwards."

As Albert Einstein said, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." So it's time that we elect new leadership in St. Albans. The people we have in office do not have the imagination, motivation or creativity to make St. Albans a city where people want to buy houses and start businesses.

No, I'm not running because my generation and my parents' generation have had their shot and we failed. It's time for a new generation to step up and lead and instead of running for office myself, I am looking for Gen X and Gen Y candidates I can back.

I'll confess, this is not the blog post I thought I was going to write today. As my regular readers know, after being forced to search way too hard for the time and location of the meeting because Mayor Callaway and Ward 7 Council member, Desper Lemon don't think there are enough internet savvy people in St. Albans to merit posting such info on the city website, I attended the Ward 7 Neighborhood Crime Watch meeting where St. Albans' lack of leadership was on display. Prior to the meeting, I thought I would hear a lot about what Councilman Lemon and Mayor Callaway are doing to organize and mobilize St. Albans' citizenry to fight crime. Indeed, I did hear a helpful presentation from a fellow named Tim Akers - the only bright spot in that meeting - about how to recognize the telltale signs that your neighbor is making meth.

For example, when I asked why I had to Google for 10 minutes and make a phone call to find out where the Ward 7 meeting was being held, and when I asked why the residents of St. Albans can't go to the city website to find out which ward they're in, who their council member is and where and when their neighborhood watch is meeting, there was a lot of shoulder-shrugging and a lot of  council members and the mayor looking at each other. Desper Lemon finally told me that if I wanted a map of the city with ward numbers and boundaries I could go to the city building to get a piece of paper containing that information.

As one man told me after the meeting, going to city hall for information won't work for him because he's on the road to his job in another county before dawn and he's not back home until after sundown. The city building is closed weekends so he can't go to the city building for a piece of paper on the weekend.

Why isn't such basic information posted on the city website where citizens can look it up and print it out at their leisure? Since the city already operates a website posting such basic info won't add to their costs so why not post that info on the website? Do they think the internet is a passing fad and that if they just ignore it it will go away?

Frankly, I am shocked and disappointed that a mayor who used to run radio stations and has an entire radio studio in his home is so bad at communication. 

I have to go now. I'm going the the city building for that piece of paper with ward numbers on it.
For more on why St. Albans' lack of leadership is an opportunity for Gen X and Gen Y to become leaders, see  my 20 March post at :: http://higginbothamatlarge.blogspot.com/2011/03/st-albans-doesnt-have-crime-problem-as.html

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