Future live chat events:
*Read archived chat here. New site location here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Who would you vote for?

If the election were today, which city commission candidates would you vote for? (Choose up to three)
John Hamilton
Kim Nuesse
Craig Stahl
Pervis Brown
Bob Warner
Deidre Cole
Ed Feick
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Site Location: Update Your Bookmarks

The Sandusky Register has 411 up and running - so if you like what you've been reading here, update your bookmarks to the new site location:


So far, we have the same site functionality as this site so we should be able to do all the same things there that we do here:

Videos, polls, text, pictures, it'll all be the same. The only major difference is the commenting system. You have to register - to that I say, "big deal." Register an anonymous email address with yahoo or gmail and create a pseudonym on the SR and stick with it. End of problem. But you all have your preferences and you can do whatcha like!

So: No more posts here unless something goes terribly wrong with the Register (they try to exert some kind of control on content which I don't forsee happening) or their servers are down and I'm just dying to post something which probably won't happen either. (I'll use that as an excuse to take a short vacation from blogging!)

So thanks for visiting here - and I'll see you over there.

City Commission Meeting 4/13/09 Live Chat

Chat window goes at active when Channel 81 starts broadcasting the commission meeting. (Probably about 8:30.)

City Commission live chat 4/13/09

I am currently trying to figure out where this live chat is going to take place: On the Register or here. They have 411 ready to go - but I still have to learn how to use the text editor.

Trying to figure it out...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bob Warner Letter To Editor April 12, 2009

A few weeks ago, Bob Warner attacked Bob and Ruth Haag during a city commission meeting. Warner claimed that the Haag's were going to "run the city into the ground." If you want a quick summary of what transpired watch the video here.

Warner must've been bothered by the reaction of some to his constituents after that meeting - and so he's responding with a letter to the editor of the Sandusky Register.

Thanks to Mr. Sandusky for pointing it out:

Note: Nobody in Sandusky voted for him. He was appointed. But if he runs for commission in November, he's giving us pretty good indications of how he thinks.

Bob Warner's letter to the editor:

Folks, I'm really confused by this letter. Bob and Ruth Haag's desire is to use grant money to do further testing to see if the coal tar is in the bedrock. They said this at the meeting several times. This is the purpose of the testing so that we're not reacting to the coal tar plume with hunches as Warner says. We want actual evidence of the problem so we know how to appropriately deal with it.

Further, if Bob Warner owns a boat it must be docked at Cedar Point because anyone who boats in that area knows about the thick oily substance which coats all marine vessels in that area. The coal tar problem is not new, as Warner says. Sandusky just wants to know how bad the problem is so they can come up with a plan to deal with it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Using Public Resources For Private Business Is A Long Standing Tradition Around Here

Perkins Township trustees will be re-examining a police cruiser policy that allows Perkins cops to use the cars when they're employed on private security details.

In defense of the long standing policy is acting Perkins police chief Robb Parthemore and Lt. Al Matthews. Lest you wonder why Parthemore and Matthews are not among the final three candidates for the position of Perkins police chief, take a look at their defense of the policy:

Is this guy serious?

Since the praetorian guards had one set of armor and a sword and presumably used them wherever and whoever they worked for, Al Matthews thinks that he should be able to use Perkins police cars when he's on a private security detail at Pat Catan's?

Can you imagine what would happen if everybody adopted Al "Praetorian" Matthews' philosophy?

"It's been a long standing tradition for me to use this company owned dump truck to deliver mulch to my house on the weekends."

"What do you mean I can't use the X-Ray machine when I'm not working? I have somebody here who needs to be X-Rayed and the cost will be minimal to the hospital. The film is pretty cheap."

Why can't I use this county-owned fax machine for my own private business ventures on the weekends? (Or during my lunch hour?)

If Matthews and Parthemore can't see why this is policy is wrong, what else is the PPD doing that it doesn't know is wrong?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Open Chat 4-8-09

Chat goes active around 8:30.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Updates On The Site

We've got some really cool things happening on Firelands 411 in the next few days. Tomorrow (tentatively) we're going to move this site from blogger over to Sanduskyregister.com. The content on this site won't be moved. It will stay here, as will the site itself. All new material will be posted on the SR's site. I will post a link to the new site once it's set up.

Now before you naysay, I just want everyone to know that the agreement is that the SR has no control over the site and that I can "pull the plug" at any time if the arrangement doesn't work out. It's still Firelands411 and will look similiar, and the content will be exactly what it would've been had I kept blogging at blogspot.

I think it will work out though. The SR has a pretty large readership in the area and it only makes sense to team up with them to deliver content without having the hassle of managing the business arrangement myself. I look at it as a win/win.

I don't know how the commenting system will work - but this is a major concern for me. To me, commenters are a major part of the site and we need to make sure we keep them happy. We'll see how that plays out and what can be done to keep the commenting system as open as it is currently on this site.

What I'm most excited about is the fact that Kim Nuesse has accepted an invitation to livechat with 411 readers. We have the chat scheduled for next Wednesday and I hope you're able to log in to ask her a question or two about her future plans in Sandusky. I'm excited about what her presence on the city commission (if she chooses to run) could mean for Sandusky. If you haven't seen her 30 minute video interview on the Sandusky Register, check it out here. (Click on the Nuesse interview in the sidebar.)

Another feature that's coming soon will be podcasting. We're working on that and would like to branch out on different types of content.


Hope to see you next Wednesday on the live chat!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stimulus Money Projects

Run a search on Erie County and Sandusky here for a summary of projects local government is seeking stimulus money.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tim Schwanger Letter To Editor (Plus Video)

This is a letter to the editor from Tim Schwanger regarding the Marina District:

We tossed away our rose colored glasses long ago regarding the Marina District Project at Battery Park and we suggest Mr. Bedee do the same by first digging into the details of the project.

We prefer to compare the Marina District Project with the Paper District Project as we City leaders never learn from history.

While the Paper District, specifically the Chesapeake Lofts Phase I, was a noble effort to bring development to Sandusky on PRIVATE property, the project has not come close to living up to its billing of "191 owner occupied residents and 70 to 100 permanent jobs" (see Erie County Auditor Web-page for sales). The year-round residents now at Chesapeake Lofts are to be commended for their dedication in sticking with the project.

If we cannot rely on a time tested, reputable developer like Mid States Development Corporation to follow through on their development plans at the Paper District, how can we expect an untested architect turned developer to follow through with development plans. It's been 5 years and at least 4 extentions since Mr. Eymann and Mr. Hanner first presented their proposal to City Commissioners. If the City had directed the pair to vacant, private waterfront sites, their project would have been well under way.

Let me interrupt you right there Tim, because this whole idea never sat well with me: The city wants to sell off public property at well under market value (in other words sell our property for much less than it's worth) - instead of encouraging a developer to acquire private property in a much more suitable location. I mean, come on. How hard is it to drive down First Street and find waterfront property in a near perfect location that's already located between the entertainment and transient marina amenities that the MD project promises?

I bet even Maxwell Smart could find some property on First Street that fits this description...

That last graphic was an overhead shot of the Apex Property. (Oh, but that building! Who wants to deal with that unsightly building!)

Okay, sorry Tim. You were saying...

Both the City and Sandusky Marina District Development, LLC admit what makes the Battery Park and Sandusky Bay Pavilion attractive for private development is the property is cheaper and easier {for the developer} to do the project vs having to negotiate for private land. The appraisal for the Sandusky Bay Pavilion site was based on similar property sales in Ottawa County from 2002 and 2003 making the appraisal outdated.

The original 11 acre City Hall relocation portion of the project began as "no cost to taxpayers" to "we'll borrow money to finance" and now relies on a request for $12 million in Stimulus Program funding.

Likewise, the Developer, through Strnisha Development Advisors from Cleveland, is requesting $12.4 million in Stimulus Program funding (toledoblade.com).

We agree with Mr. Bedee. The Marina District does impact the whole area. The entire country will pay for the private Marina District Project on public park property. We encourage people who don't live in Sandusky to call City Commissioners and let them know you do not agree with this type of "pork barrel" spending and they should be requesting Stimulus Program funding to create permanent, living wage jobs for Sandusky.

Tim Schwanger

Responding To A Nuesse Hater

Have you ever read something in the SR comments that irritates you? Of course you have. That's what makes them the SR comments!

This morning I read a comment from Joecitizen that made me roll my eyes. However, it was actually readable. (Mostly because I really am curious about why they hate her so much.) Since Kim Nuesse haters have been hard to find as of late, I'm jumping on this chance to respond to one of them.

Here's Joecitizen's post in it's entirety:

If Joecitizen's viewpoint irritates you, go here to see a line-by-line education.

Nuesse For Commission?

The SR has an article in today's paper about Kim Nuesse possibly candidacy for city commission. What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Coffee With Mr. Stahl Afterthoughts

I went to the meeting this morning. Stahl fielded some tough questions - some of which went unanswered because they dealt with the Nuesse case. I'm low on time again - so let's have an open thread here. If you went this morning, what feelings, observations would you share?

If I had to share one feeling I came away with it would be this: The push for reform is gaining momentum.

My two cents would be: People to need to organize and the ideas shared in the meeting need to be articulated in public so the ideas can crystallize among a greater portion of the citizenry. The voices in Sandusky need to be amplified.

"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." --Abraham Lincoln.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meeting On Changing Form Of Government

A commenter:

Don't forget to announce the Mr. Smith's coffee house meeting on Friday at 5pm to start the ball rolling on a change of rule in town.

Erie County Prosecutor Sues Sandusky Register

Here's the 22 page lawsuit.


Note: Because he's a public official, Mr. Baxter will have to prove "actual malice" in a jury trial.

The suit was assigned to Judge Tone. I'm curious about how this is going to play out. Will they bring in a retired visiting judge?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Coffee With Mr. Stahl

At Mr. Smith's Coffee House this Saturday from 8am-9am.

Commissioners Waddington, Warner and Kaman will be hosting morning coffee at Mr. Smiths.

Discuss all questions Sandusky. Special guest will be Mayor Stahl.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

City Commission Planning Session 3/31/09

I attended only half of the meeting. The comission talked about regional dispatch. They're moving forward with co-locating the city's dispatchers with the county. Mr. Kaman brought up a good point about maybe having a commissioner involved in the planning of the whole thing. Which might be a good idea because dispatching emergency services is part of basic taxpayer funded city services. (By the way, economic development is not.)

The Hacker Complaint:

Mr. Kline dismissed Mr. Hacker's concerns outright. He claimed that there was no favoritism from the city street workers. Mr. Kline said that he had not seen the video online so he was unaware of what the video actually showed. Kline said that other people told him what the video showed and that it was simply city workers removing snow. Basically he said that removing snow is their job. They did nothing wrong and that there was no favoritism. (Big surprise eh?)

Mr. Kline did not address the 2 1/2 hours of video or material that Mr. Hacker dropped off to his office and to the commissioners. (I'm still confused about why Mr. Kline believes this issue is about an internet video, but what the hey.)

This topic will be covered more in depth later on - but if you were wondering, that's what Kline said about the issue.

More to come...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Open Thread

Speak on it...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Conclusion Of Nuesse Case

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Updated: City's Closing Argument In Nuesse Case

Scroll down for update.

The city's closing argument is now posted on the Sandusky Register. Go hear and click on the appropriate video. (Still no permalinks.) It's a 40 minute argument - and Ms. Cannon must've covered the city's whole case because if they had any details they were leaving out or the city had an ace in their back pocket they would've shared it during the closing argument.

I'd really love to hear from the Nuesse haters on this. What's the case again?

1. She falsified Weed and Seed grant information? Based on interpretation.

2. She had a parking ticket voided? Completely debunked. There was absolutely no way Nuesse could've handled that situation in a more proper way short of simply paying the ticket which would've made her look paranoid after being told not to worry about it by Captain Frankowski, City Manager Mike Will (who was admittedly embarassed that the ticket was even issued) and Law Director Don Icsman. Everybody was aware of the ticket and nobody had a problem with how it was handled.

3. Failure to cooperate? He said, she said by a bunch of whiny males not used to being challenged. Look who Margaret Cannon says is so upset: Kevin Baxter and Terry Lyons. Consider the sources. (Cannon sneers: "But Randy Glovinski said it is standard procedure to tell the prosecutor and Sheriff when you're about to make arrests...")

4. Misled the commission?

Oh, Cannon says that Nuesse misled the commission during the executive session - not the public portion. Okay, let's ask the people present in the executive session: Kaman says that Nuesse never made statements to lead any of the commissioners to believe the dispatch system was "on the verge of collapse" - and Waddington said he doesn't recall Nuesse characterizing the dispatch system as "on the verge of collapse." But because Waddington wasn't willing to call Farrar, (who, admittedly, wasn't even present) Fuqua, Stahl, and Crandall liars for claiming that Nuesse did claim it was on the verge of collapse - Cannon relies on the possibility that Nuesse misled the commission - not on actual proof that she did. The possibility only exists if you're willing to call Dan Kaman a liar.

Don't know about you, but I'm having such a hard time accepting the possibility that Mrs. Bobblehead, Fuqua, Stahl and Crandall fibbed in concert to protect each other.

In the end, this case comes down to he said, she said. And I'm embarassed for Sandusky as it becomes painfully obvious that this is how our elected officials run the city.

The Question: After reviewing the evidence and listening to both sides, did the city convince you that Nuesse needed to be fired? (Million dollars well spent?)


Dan Kaman emails:

I will miss the live chat tonight. I stand by what I said from day one. I take pride in the fact that during my testimony Sue Porter said something like "so you expect us to believe you over 4 other commissioners who said Nuesse said dispatch was on the verge of collapse?" (or words to that effect) and I said YES. Proof is in the video and the minutes!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sad State Of Critical Thought

The SR's current public opinion poll:

Yet this is what our young people choose to protest:

A feckless SR commenter:

Great. But will you attend a public meeting and protest tax dollar misuse? Or is that just a little too much to ask?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Personalized Service From The City Of Sandusky

On Monday March 23, 2009 city resident Mike Hacker addressed the Sandusky City Commission about cutting costs for the city by ensuring that city workers are not misusing city resources by giving preferential treatment to family members and friends. Hacker explained that he had dropped off pictures and videos to the commission that showed city vehicles parked in his neighbor's driveway for extended periods of time.

Hacker says that his neighbor frequently receives personalized service from city workers using city owned dump trucks and front end loaders. Said Hacker: "I'll watch [my neighbor] move his truck and within five minutes a [city owned] front end loader arrives to clear out the snow in front of his house."

Video exclusive:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Updated: City of Sandusky Coal Tar Map

On Monday, City Commissioner Bob Warner "ambushed" Bob and Ruth Haag - who are contracted by the city of Sandusky for environmental work. Warner said that the Haags were going to bankrupt the city by further testing the property west of the Chesapeake Condos.

Watch Pervis Brown's reaction at the end of Warner's dramatic speech:

Bob Haag logged into our live chat (you can read the entire chat right beneath this post. Skip to 8:50 - that's when Bob logs in) to explain and answer questions about Sandusky's coal tar plume.

Since people are curious about what the coal tar problem looks like, here is the map:

Hopefully the Haags get into describing this problem for the community a little more in depth.

More coming!

Update: Jason Singer is writing an article for the Sandusky Register.

I am writing a large story on the coal tar plume — how it got there, where it is, what are the dangers, what are the possible solutions, what happened at the city commission meeting, the possible problems with Hall & Associates' plan, and what the Haags proposes we should do — which will run some time this weekend.

City Commission Meeting 2-23-09 Follow Up

Open Thread

A quick note here:

I'm running thin on time, but I'd like to launch another live chat at about 7:30 to pick up where we left off when Buckeye Cablesystem rudely interrupted our live chat on the city commission meeting last night.

I've got so much material that I'd like to put up - but just don't have time. Hopefully I get caught up here...

Another day at the Nuesse hearing took place today. Short day, though.

Treat this like an open thread.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Live Chat: City Commission Meeting March 23, 2009

Chat window will go active at approximately 8:15 pm. The topic of discussion will be the city commission meeting which will be broadcast at 8:30 pm on Buckeye Cablesystem Channel 81.

Mayor/Ward Vs. City Commission

The debate stems from the struggle for accountability on the commission. Kaman is frustrated with the lack of accountability - but we've been through the mayor/ward vs. commission debate before and it never got off the ground. As I understand it, the mayor/ward system would allow the city to replace the city manager with an elected mayor. Right now Sandusky has a ceremonial mayor but the consensus seems to be that Mr. Stahl is overstepping his ceremonial authority.

Sandusky Register March 22, 2009:

And here's the funny part:

Craig Stahl said he likes the current format and Brett Fuqua disrespectfully blows off the idea by calling it "a joke."

Not advocating either side - but given the fact that the ward system is used in thousands of cities in the United States, what's more of a joke: the ward system or Fuqua answering the question that way?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Divided Commission

It would be nice to know Mr. Stahl and Mr. Kline's plans, goals, objectives. One of the issues that was brought up this morning at Mr. Smith's coffee house was that the commission hasn't sat down for a work session yet this year.

The commission is divided and the "majority party" doesn't seem interested in sharing any information with the rest of the commission.

In reference to the Pisarsky contract mentioned above. This is from the February 23rd Commission Agenda:

Firelands Blog Ring Forming

As blogs are created for area news and issues in the firelands area, we'll showcase them and link them in the sidebar.

The RemoveBarbJohnson blog has information on the 'tea parties' that are popping up in America.

Huron2009 is a new blog created to cover issues in Huron.

Hopefully these blogs stay active! It's nice to see more and more people realize the benefit to citizen journalism. It doesn't take anything more than accuracy and fairness to provide a news outlet for people in our area!

Once again, if you are interested in learning the ins and outs of blogger, contact me at the address in the upper right corner of the sidebar.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mr. Smith's Coffee House 8:00 AM

Be there to discuss city issues with Dan Kaman and other city residents. Mr. Smith's is right across the street from the State Theatre. See you there.

Click on pic to visit their website.
Please no more references to World War II era dictators, please.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Open Thread

An open commenting thread to write whatever your heart desires. It's been a long day...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Live Chat Wednesday: Local Conspiracy Theory

Welcome to liveblogging on Firelands411. Please be aware that the text from this chat will be archived on this site so an audience far larger than the actual participants are able to read it.

In order to create a useful dialogue let's do our best to follow a few posting guidelines:

1. Be considerate to other chatters.

2. Stay on topic and be constructive.

Tonight's chat topic will be local conspiracy theories.

Chat window will go active at approximately 8:30 pm.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Video: Kline Confronted On False Accusation During Nuesse Civil Service Hearing

Have you ever wanted to see someone get busted on cross examination? Here's your chance.

To understand this video clip - make sure you've watched this clip of Matt Kline during the city commission meeting back in February of 2008.

This is Kim Nuesse's lawyer K Ron Bailey asking Matt Kline about the duplicity he used to fire Nuesse:


Wednesday Night Chat

If the voting totals don't change "local conspiracy theory" will be the topic for tomorrow night's live chat. The loonies might come out of the woodwork, folks. But on the same token, the chat might end up being pretty entertaining.

I've gotta clear this up:

I don't remember saying that "not too many people in Erie county read the Sandusky Register blogs..." Maybe Julie R. can point out where I supposedly made that comment?

Julie, I hope you join us tomorrow night. And have your friend Buff log in too!

Current City Commission Review

A quick review on the current city commission and how they were "elected."

There are seven seats on the commission. In the 2007 election four seats were contested. Five candidates were on the ballot, but shortly before the election one candidate withdrew.

The vote totals:

Once Carl Wolf withdrew his name, the remaining four were guaranteed seats. Julie Farrar won her seat by simply having her name on the ballot, as she had no prior experience as city commissioner.

The current commission consists of two extra names: Bob Warner - who was appointed to fill Dennis Murray's vacancy when he was elected to the Ohio House of Representative, and Pervis Brown who was appointed to fill Brian Crandall's seat when he cowardly jumped ship in the middle of the Nuesse debacle resigned in April of 2008.

Three seats are contested in November 2009: Craig Stahl, Pervis Brown and Bob Warner.

Chief Justice At Register Building

The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court was interviewed at the Register building yesterday. What's interesting is that it appears to have been a surprise visit. A surprise visit in the midst of all the political pot stirring...

Confirmed: The Chief Justice called at 11:00 am and showed up at the building at 5:00.

The major points of the SR article are these:

1. Moyer is campaigning to change the selection process for members of the supreme court. (Which is a debate in itself) He thinks that a panel of members made of mostly of "nonlawyers" should decide who's on the court. Moyer says that the court is compromised by big money donations and that the donators then expect the court to rule in favor of their interests. I imagine he's talking about insurance companies. Moyer would have to openly debate this idea because frankly, having a panel choose the justices doesn't make much sense for a variety of reasons. Who chooses the members of this panel? Why can't the justices just refuse the money from special interests? Nobody forces them to take campaign donations. We had a problem in Erie County with unelected visiting judges wreaking havoc on our legal system - so what would happen if that problem of unelected accountability raises itself to the level of the highest court in Ohio? (Incidentally, we haven't had much visiting judge action around here lately, have we? Campaign promise kept: Ty Tone, Roger Binette.)

2. Moyer gave the Register a legal pointer on the appropriate next step to obtain the results of a BCI investigation into our local prosecutor - which is a writ of mandamus:

3. Moyer called the AG's decision not to release the document "curious."

Insight, anybody? (Especially you attorneys who are reading this...)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Commenters: Make Every Comment Worth Reading

Please don't leave comments that earn me angry phone calls, because I don't need it and it undermines what we're trying to build here: A credible forum where people use anonymity because of legitimate concerns of retaliation - not because you want to cowardly lash out with cheap shots. Cut the hyperbole. Make your point artfully and stay away from the inflammatory bunk.

Thank you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Internet Verb?

From the live chat the other night:

The mayor's name lends itself to being used as a verb, as in: "You got Stahled." Which could be synonomous with being "stonewalled."

And now you've got this Don Lee cartoon.

The City's Public Records Expert

A piece of information to store in the information bank:
Willliam Lang is the city's public records expert.

Read this decision from the Ohio Supreme Court which suspended him from the practice of law for a year (six months stayed on conditions.)

(Thanks to whoever posted that tip in the comments.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Recall Poll Final


*I'm wondering how many votes it takes to secure a place on the commission. Anybody know? Or at least know where to view some election results for the last few commission races?

Let's analyze.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Downtown Economic Development & Local Government

One of the reasons I love the digital media age is because in the DMA, there are no 'word limits.' You will never find a '300 word limit' rule for a letter to the editor on this website. On the web, space constraint is no longer an issue when covering subjects of public importance.

On Firelands411, your view won't be blocked or severely limited for the benefit of a few people.

Downtown development is a hot topic in Sandusky, and so let's get all the information on the table and debate what's best for the city. Many people disagree with the marina district project for legitimate reasons. They're not "negative" or "against progress." They're simply articulating ideas they've learned from researching the best practices from other cities facing the same issues, and not subscribing to the pie-in-the-sky waterfront development ideas that haven't had positive long term results anywhere else in the country. These folks certainly don't deserve to be written off as "not credible" like the Sandusky Register editorial board has done here:

The Sandusky Register has a monopoly on which viewpoints achieve "market penetration" - and on downtown development, the SR has clearly favored the Marina District.

How about an opposing viewpoint?

Chris Wimer is a lifelong Sandusky resident who has done a substantial amount of research on downtown Sandusky history. He authored a few reports on proposed downtown development and was kind enough to send them in for publication.

Mr. Wimer's report - and it's extensive - is here.

What Does It Take To Change The Form Of Local Government?

And would that be a good thing?

If you have knowledge of this, dicuss:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Special thanks to everyone who is dropping the Firelands411 link in commenting threads on the Register!

Future Plans

A commenter:

Great idea. We could have a public records expert, like the attorney from Kent State University who is quoted frequently in the Sandusky Register, participate in a live blog and he could take questions from citizens in Sandusky. One could ask him what can be done about the current situation of secrecy in the city. You might be surprised to find that most attorneys go into law because they have respect for the ideals this country was founded upon. Many of them would gladly direct you on how to make progress with forcing public accountability. All you have to do is ask them!

Don't you believe that public sentiment carries weight in the decisions of politicians? I received several phone calls today about how interesting the concept of liveblogging is and how we need to advertise it more widely to increase awareness and participation. I did have the same thought as you, ("In the end, this is just idle talk,") but action starts with a plan. Plans start through discussion.

I'm planning on hosting a liveblog for every commission meeting. The meetings are broadcast on Channel 81. The chat will go active at 8:15 and we can all watch the meeting together on TV and chat about it on the net. Citizens who go to that podium won't feel like they're being stared down by the commissioners and sulked at by the likes of certain commissioners. Citizens don't deserve that kind of treatment, and this is one way to support them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Live Blog Debriefing

Thanks to everyone who participated in the live blog. We had about 50 people watching - but only 12 actively participated. On one hand I'd like to see more participation, but at the same time too many people and the chat gets hard to follow. Special thanks to Sandusky City Commissioner Dan Kaman for taking part - and logging in right at 8:00 pm to boot!

If any other commissioners are interested in taking part, please send me an email so we can set up moderation planning: firelands411@yahoo.com

Question: What topic should be covered next week?

Live Blogging Wednesday: Transparency In Local Government

Welcome to liveblogging on Firelands411! We're hoping to establish this feature on Firelands411 as a way to discuss hot topics in the Firelands area. Please be aware that the text from this chat will be archived on this site so an audience far larger than the actual participants are able to read it.

In order to create a useful dialogue let's do our best to follow a few posting guidelines:

1. Be considerate to other chatters.

2. Stay on topic and be constructive.

Tonight's chat topic will be transparency in local government.

Let's kick this off with a question for all participants: Do you believe we have a problem with transparency in local government?

The chat box below will go active at approximately 7:45pm.