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May 27, 2007

Comments

Christopher Foulds

Arjun:
As you may have noticed, we did nothing on the topic of expenses of your trip to NYC, simply because I judged that, since it is part of the $5K every councillor has in their travel budget, the cost of said trip is really a non-story.
I see the Daily and Radio NL disagreed and spilled ink and air on the topic.
To each their own.
I will have one of my reporters touch base with you on the trip itself (input given, ideas taken, etc.), however, as you know, we are in a transition period in the newsroom with respect to coverage, so it taking a bit longer than anticipated.
In any event, I will indeed be more than happy to run your response to Harrison as a guest column this week.
Just e-mail it to me and we'll go from there.
Christopher Foulds
editor
Kamloops This Week

Mayor Quimby

Well KTW didn't have any issue with printing the op ed. Seems a tad hypocritical, no ?

Big Betty

Sorry Arjun but as much as I want to disagree with Jim Harrison I agree with him on this one. I went to www.kamloops.ca and I can contact any councillor, look at any bylaw, request service, get information on just about anything. This conference seemed to be more about you and less about us.

Mayor Quimby

The city website is good but there seems to be scant detail on the latest budget. I would like to be able to review the entire budget not just minutes from meetings.

Mickael Maddison

As someone that works in the IT field, I feel it is valuable to have a councilor that actually goes out and reviews technologies as they relate to our democratic process.

Further, by touching base and meeting with all sorts of other people with a similar interest, who knows what the potential benefits could be?

We use technology in our city, and we'll continually be using it more. It's only going to be beneficial to us as taxpayers to have a council member that's well informed and well connected.

It increases my confidence in the future of Kamloops to know that Arjun is on our council. It's an asset to us all that he's continuing to expand his understanding and use of technology for the betterment of our community.

Skylark

For me there's a HUGE difference in being able to read bylaws online and

-being advised about what issues are on the table
-being advised of what the opposing arguments are
-being advised about who voted for what
-being asked for our opinions in advance of a public hearing (and final decision)
-having a public database of who sent submissions on what issues (for when the city "forgets" that people sent stuff in advance of public hearings)
-archives of adminstration's and councillors' points of view (eg. like how the waterfront lobby site posts two councillors views)

Arjun's use of technology has been so helpful in my understanding the decisions, etc. I would love to see more of this, and a public, detailed chart on how each councillor voted for each major issue, among other things.

Christopher Foulds

To Mayor Quimby:
No hypocrisy at all.
We didn't deem the expenditure as a news story as it fell well within the anual budget and appears as reasonable as the UBCM or FCM trips.
That's a news decision.
What Harrison writes about as a freelance columnist is separate from a news decision on the news pages.
Remember, there are three things that comprise a paper, of which too many people forget or simply do not know.
The news pages are for news and feature stories, including sports, arts, etc.
The opinion pages are just that - opinion - and are separate from news.
The ads are those irritating things around the above two that pay my salary.
There you go.
Cheers
cjf

Mayor Quimby

Chris,

Thanks for the reply but I do believe that as an editor, you may choose to run an opinion editorial or you can choose to not run it. I am also fairly sure that you most likely have not run many opinion letters or editorials before this one. Therefore I must ask, why run this one ? Especially when you deemed it not newsworthy ?

Rob Cottingham

Arjun, unfortunately there will always be folks who get their knickers in a twist whenever they see a politician do anything outside of a very narrow box.

Good on you for attending that conference; I wish I could have gone myself. And with all due respect to Big Betty, she's only scratching the surface of the civic potential of the net. The capabilities of the web are changing so quickly, with such an enormous possibility for engaging citizens and transforming their relationship to their governments, that it's negligent for any politician -not- to maintain an active interest.

And pursuing that interest by meeting some of the pioneers in the field, hearing their stories first-hand and forging relationships that can help bring some of that powerful innovation to your own community... well, that's not waste, and it's not self-indulgent.

It's leadership.

margaret

I trust that you are out there making a connection with other people who are trying to do what you are doing and it is not a waste of our money. Jim Harrison must be almost ready to retire..but he notices what you are doing.

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