Cheryl O’Malley noted on the Concerned Citizens of Medfield Facebook page the lack of a good town system to inform residents when things are going to happen in their neighborhood. It was my frustration with the town government information flow that caused me to run for selectmen and which I continue to try to solve.
What I have been wanting to see be developed is a push system, namely a system that pushes out the information via emails to the residents, once they sign up to get things. I am told that should be possible when the town website is redone this year. Other towns already use such systems, where at the town website one can merely check the boxes of the boards and committees that interest you. I hope the new iteration of the Town of Medfield website will accommodate doing so. We already have a push system in place that emails out a list of all town meeting being held that day. however, we need a system that includes the agendas, minutes, and reports.
When I became a selectman, one of the first things that I noticed was how much information selectmen saw, but how little of that information got out to residents, because the newspapers do not cover local government in any depth any longer and the town generally does not report on a regular basis to its residents. About six years ago I arranged for a town e-newsletter to get generated on a volunteer basis by a resident you had a 30 year career as a journalist and was also for 15 years the managing editor of the Globe, but his volunteering was not wanted by the town administration, and so it was never implemented. It was after that e-newsletter was killed, that I started this blog, as my substitute means of sharing information with residents. But the problem with this blog is that it depends on my being available to input the information.
Below is from a list that I put together a couple of years ago when I ran for re-election to explain the information sharing things I had done so far:
● Information – Promoted dissemination and sharing of Medfield town information, and town government transparency. Initiated for the Board of Selectmen – agendas available on-line before meetings, meeting minutes posted on-line shortly after, and the recordings of meetings available on-line. Established a predictable BoS schedule, with meetings on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, and use of an annual calendar.
● Information sharing – Actively write about and share with residents the town information I learn as a selectman via posts at my:
○ Blog (https://medfield02052.wordpress.com/),
○ Twitter – @Medfield – https://twitter.com/Medfield,
○ LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/activities/0_02onfjponPQsebGqMHHBWQ?trk=hp-identity-wvmu, and
○ Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/osler.peterson
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