Yesterday I had a chance encounter with a Racine alderman who took the opportunity to criticize my blog and my failure to call him prior to writing my blog entries. When pressed repeatedly to clarify his concerns, he could not, but he did repeat that I should have called him.
Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day trying to process this bizarre conversation. I still don't know what to make of it, but the encounter does provide me the opportunity to clarify the purpose of this blog.
Aside from amusing myself, the purpose of this blog is to stimulate public discussion on public issues. I try to be very clear on my positions and I realize that my positions are quite regularly in opposition to those presently in power. Furthermore, I spend little or no time writing about that which I find agreeable, as I find that boring. Ideally, my blog entries would be considered the start of a conversation. The best conversations do not shy away from differences but rather explore them seriously and respectfully. The end result would hopefully leave participants and readers alike with an elevated understanding of the issue at hand.
Needless to say, I am especially interested in the positions held by officials who are elected to represent our interests in public matters. In the past I have encouraged elected officials to get involved and clarify their thinking on matters of importance. Unfortunately, with the exception of Alderman Greg Helding, few have done so.
Hopefully the alderamn in question now understands why I haven't called him. I am not especially interested in private conversations concerning public issues, nor am I able to anticipate the needs of local politicians that I don't even know. Of course any polician is free to call me if they wish to do so on the record. But it would be far preferable in my view if our elected officials would take the time to engage the public on public issues. And it is my hope that they will do so on Free Racine.