Monday, October 19, 2015

There's a new blog about Richardson politics: (Kudos on the domain name. I'm surprised it was still available.) The blog claims to be "created by and for the fine people of Richardson, Texas." (OK, fine. Don't name names.)

What will the blog be about? It says, "Here we discuss issues that affect our quality of life, our pocketbooks, and our rights as citizens. What we have discovered has taken years of research, dogged determination in digging up the facts behind the stories, and collecting documented evidence that can help protect our lifestyle and the city we have come to love." (If that reads a little like someone who writes prolifically on Facebook, well, maybe yes, maybe no. She doesn't say.)

Will the new blog have something to say? Certainly. Will it add anything of value? That remains to be seen.

Three points about

First, what are the issues the blog is interested in? Judging by the blog posts up already, the issues are water bills, tax sweeps, and the upcoming bond and charter amendment elections. These just happen to be the issues the aforementioned prolific Facebook poster has been most vocal about, which leads some readers (and by some I mean, of course, me) to suspect that she is the author behind the blog. Let's call her CTHR, the initials used to sign all the articles so far.

Second, helpfully, there's a "Who We Are" page. Unhelpfully, it says, "We are the concerned citizens of Richardson who love our city. We’re teachers, attorneys, accountants, business owners, corporate employees, writers, mechanics, engineers, technicians, artists, healthcare providers, social workers, stay-at-home moms, young professionals, retirees, homeowners and apartment dwellers. In a word, we are YOU!" That doesn't answer the question, does it? Shouldn't a "Who We Are" page name names? Apparently, none of the many fine people behind this new blog care to share their names with the fine people of Richardson. Ironic, as some of the people suspected of being behind this effort have in the past complained about a purported lack of transparency on the city's part.

Third, can we meet the people behind the blog face to face? Almost certainly. Under the "Meetings" menu, there are a series of meetings listed at the First Presbyterian Church of Richardson. Coincidentally, they coincide with the meetings our prolific Facebook poster has been advertising on Facebook. Even if the website hides names, I assume the meeting organizers won't be wearing sacks over their heads.

Finally, will the blog be a source of accurate information? I'm beginning to feel dubious. One of the first articles, in its entirety, is:
The City of Richardson has a charter. This charter is supposed to be for and by the citizens of Richardson. For a time, it was. Then it changed, and nothing was done about it. That's our bad. Now this most recent charter has 83 amendments that were generated by a Charter Commission, appointed directly by the City Council. Oops! That's a no-no.
No explanation why it's a "no-no." No references to the law. Just an accusation stated as fact ("That's a no-no."). In fact, the accusation is false, debunked here and elsewhere. As far as how the charter commission was formed, it's definitely not a "no-no".

Readers of, beware. Facebook might be a more reliable source of accurate information. Or chain emails forwarded by your uncle. Nevertheless, I welcome the new blog. And I welcome more citizen involvement. The more citizen involvement, the better. But more involvement than what you'll probably learn at, unfortunately.

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