Bill Guman 
Member since Dec 23, 2010

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Re: “Council's brave new world

For over two decades, an integral part of my small business’ marketing and communications has included an interactive online presence. Being able to have email and posts made on my Facebook page forwarded instantly to my Blackberry is something I never imagined even just ten short years ago. But I still realized then that email was the most effective method of communication when I served as a council rep. When 50 constituents called me with the same question or complaint, it was considerably more efficient to respond to all via email than it was to try and return phone calls to each and every one. It also helped me to establish a “trail of communication” not easily afforded by returning calls that went directly to voice mail (and often erased -- accidently or intentionally).

Elected reps who don’t take full advantage of current e-communication, particularly Facebook (at no cost!) are seriously shortchanging their constituents and themselves. Instant Messaging, the “Wall,” “Newsfeeds” etc. is the new Town Hall that nearly 700 million Facebook users alone have built largely within just the last five years to reach out and communicate faster than ever.

Other than perhaps making yourself available to constituents 24/7, and at times it can feel that you are, few other methods for elected reps are more effective than Facebook to establish and maintain “transparency.” But this relatively recent campaign buzzword means absolutely nothing if a candidate doesn’t follow-through when elected with a fast, user-friendly interactive online presence -- with no gatekeeper (merely having an email address posted on a website, and having an assistant write your responses doesn't count!)

I applaud all my elected reps who have been proactive and integrated Facebook into their daily routine. To anyone else who has yet to take full advantage of this, I simply ask: “What are you waiting for?”

Posted by Bill Guman on 06/23/2011 at 1:38 PM

Re: “Round and round

If Ingrid Richter needs to take vacation time in order to appear at a public hearing to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, then it seems an actual conflict does exist of which she and staff are aware.

Ms. Richter needs to decide which position she wishes to keep: a) real estate services manager for the city of Colorado Springs, b) developer, or c) Manitou Springs City Councilor. Pick one.

Posted by Bill Guman on 06/02/2011 at 12:50 PM

Re: “Sharp learning curve ahead for strong mayor

Good points. This next time a strong mayor is going to have to know the administrative side of how City Hall works, in addition to being an elected representative and politician. If someone has never served in an elected capacity in local government (especially in Colorado Springs), and has never experienced first-hand the sensitive and symbiotic relationship required between city staff and city council in order to be effective, that person is in for a rude awakening.

Voters will not have patience to wait for a strong mayor to learn the basics of governance - the new mayor will need to hit the road running. There will be no "honeymoon" and the learning curve for a new mayor will be steeper than "sharp" this next time.

Posted by Bill Guman on 12/23/2010 at 11:39 AM

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