On September the 4th I sent the following email to all the Macon-Bibb commissioners and the Mayor. I have not received even one reply to date so I thought I would publish an open letter in the hopes it would garner more attention. It is also possible they simply do not ever check their government email accounts. If they are not interested in my proposal that is fine but it would at least be nice to have a definitive response.
Don’t bother sending any emails to firstname.lastname@example.org which is their Contact Us email link. This is the message you will receive:
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domainmaconbibb.us by mail.powerviewmail.com. [184.108.40.206].
The error that the other server returned was:
550 5.1.1 <email@example.com> User unknown; rejecting
Dear Commissioners and Mayor Reichert,
The reason I am contacting you today is because I would like to start a regular series of articles called “Know your District” and “Know your Town”. Quite frankly the print and TV media in Macon do a very poor job of keeping citizens informed. They only have so much space in the paper and so much time on the airwaves. I have none of these limitations on my website. Bibb needs a forum where elected officials and the citizens can gather for virtual town hall meetings. You can apprise voters of various news, projects, and updates in districts and across the county and voters would be able to reply with direct feedback in the comments.
Currently if citizens in Bibb want to know what is going on in town they can attend commission meetings, read the minutes online, and perhaps occasionally read or watch a report on the news. None of those methods are really producing an informed citizenry. Attending meetings regularly is simply unrealistic for most people. Reading the minutes of a meeting makes it hard to see the big picture and the media often gives a far too dumbed down version that can be slanted.
My goal is to offer the commission as well as all other departments of Bibb county like the sherif’s and fire departments, water works, etc.. a centralized location to share important updates. I realize all these various agencies already have their own websites but they almost never see any updates. The P&Z for example rarely if ever gets any updates. Nongovernemental entities and organizations are also invited as well to contribute article submissions about work they are doing in the community.
My website is completely non-partisan and I have no agenda. My primary goal is to keep citizens informed and aware of important issues facing our county. To that end I thought I would approach you with this opportunity to have an unfiltered voice to all the stakeholders. No edits, no word limits, and one central location instead of the current shotgun approach with information spread by Facebook, twitter, and multiple websites which makes it nearly impossible for people to stay informed if they choose to do so.
There would be no deadlines or demands on your time either. Simply write an article when you feel there is important news to share or make a video if you prefer and it will be uploaded to my site under your name. Photo attachments are also welcome and encouraged. I will take care of all the technical bits with meta descriptions, tagging, HTML, etc..You simply produce the content you feel the stakeholders in Bibb need to know.
Macon desperately needs something like this. I saw a void and decided to step in. This is your chance to speak directly to the people of Bibb. I would like to keep these articles purely informative and not advertorial nor adversarial in nature. To that end I do not want self-aggrandizing pieces written purely to boost your stature in future elections. That would be my only requirement, but other than that you are free to write about any and all issues you feel are important and are not being accurately covered.
I hope you will all decide to contribute to this exciting new project. All of you are already doing this to a degree on your separate Facebook and possibly Twitter accounts, I simply want to collect all the info in one easily accessible site. You would also have the added bonus of knowing that the local media would no longer have a monopoly on what is considered news worthy or not. That alone should appeal to all of you by not being solely reliant on the local media to spread the word.
I hope you will all consider contributing to this project with the goal to help disseminate information on various projects and districts in Bibb county in an effort to keep the citizens informed and engaged.
Senior Editor of Global Watchdog