During the last municipal election there was a significant amount of chatter on the aprilroad.com discussion forum and a few incumbents were targeted for ridicule. All’s fair in love and war, right? Wrong, according to one of our city councillors. I sent emails to the election winners and losers inviting them to participate in the aprilroad.com podcast to discuss their experiences and their thoughts on our city. Most replied, and a few agreed to participate (some of which you can hear on the aprilroad.com Podcast page). A few others, including Shane Kennedy and Mayor Trasolini, will be interviewed soon and will be posted on aprilroad.com in the coming weeks. But one city council incumbent was incensed that some residents had the audacity to disagree with the Port Moody city council decision regarding The Boathouse Restaurant license and location (a terrible restaurant in my opinion). Here’s the email response I received from the city councilor:
Thank you for your invitation, however I must respectfully decline due to the disrespectful and vitriolic comments by the regular users of your forum during the election period. Specifically regular contributors Dozer, Paperboy and Johnny Vintage. That they choose to use your forum for such ‘antics’ is unfortunate and casts doubt as to the validity of your blog.
Vitriolic? Hardly. You suffered the digital equivalent of a few people sticking out their tongues. THIS is vitriolic.
Firstly, my blog didn’t exist during the municipal elections so referring to the discussion forum as both a forum and a blog tells me the author isn’t particularly savvy. Now I’ll be honest and say that I wouldn’t be happy if I’d read those posts about me but I’m not a paid municipal official who’s answerable to the community, and that’s the point this councilor fails to realize. The Cluetrain Manifesto maintains that markets are conversations and I think that also applies to the civic voters of Port Moody. The discussion forum is about DISCUSSION and INTERACTION. It invites anyone and everyone to share their thoughts be it good, bad or indifferent. Did this councilor wade in and address any of the points made or attempt to enter some kind of meaningful dialogue? Nope. It’s easier to fire off a cranky email and refuse to participate and communicate with the very people that pay her salary. She missed the boat and a few votes, mine included. Remember Ms. Councilor, I’m a resident, I talk to my neighbours and I vote.
Today’s technologically challenged are tomorrow’s illiterate and it worries me when they run my city.