Greensboro’s Chief Problem: PleadTheFirst’s Timeline

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

PleadTheFirst’s PotatoStew documents the unfolding drama of Greensboro’s Chief Wray RMA report debacle.

PotatoStew is an excellent political cartoonist with a great sense of humor (his ‘blogs tagline is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of an unnecessary blog, or prohibiting the free posting therein.”).

Greensboro’s Chief Problem: Transparency in the Hands of the Blogsphere

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Via Ed Cone, the consultant’s report (RMA) I posted on earlier is in the wild. An anonymously redacted and posted version is available on Greensboro101.

Guarino has a nice precis of the report – says that the report is “remarkable because of its relatively narrow scope”.

Now, the big question, at least for blogactivists: will Greensboro101 need the services of the Electronic Frontier Foundation?

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers’ Rights!

Greensboro’s Chief Problem: Transparency?

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

One of the more interesting aspects of Greensboro’s Chief Wray debacle involves a report (the RMA) prepared by outside consultants for internal consumption by Greensboro’s leadership. Questions swirl around both the legality of releasing the full report on the conditions leading to Wray’s firing and the public necessity of those revelations.

A number of GSO bloggers, current ‘blogger and former Council candidate Dave Hoggard for instance, have called for a redacted version to be released. As the Hogg points out,

After reading the whole thing I’m convinced our City Council should call a meeting and vote to release at least the first 31 pages of the report (Section 1).   From my non-legal view, that section of the report confirms Bledsoe’s Rhino reported investigations and presents all of the justification needed for the public to understand why David Wray is no longer employed as our Chief of Police.

Others, like Greensboro’s newest ‘blogger (but longtime commenter), The Conservative Alternative, question the assertions that legal action can and will be taken against GSO ‘bloggers publishing the report “in toto”. The grounds for doing so, at least based on her/his analysis, seem pretty shaky.

My interest is more than academic. As a local citizen working on governance issues, the extent to which I can publish or provide documentation of governmental malfeasance hinges on the legal determinations at play in cases like those exposed by Greensboro’s RMA report.

This is one of the reasons I support the Electronic Frontier Foundation and their efforts to preserve and protect the online community’s First Amendment rights.

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers’ Rights!

Greensboro’s Chief Problem

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

An update from Ed Cone on my reference to the release of a report on Greensboro’s Chief Wray, his behavior in managing his department, and the eventual breaking of trust between him and the Council. The fall and rise and fall of the leaders of Greensboro’s police force are well documented in Jerry Bledsoe’s Rhino Times series (nicely collated by Ed).

Why do I care about what goes on Greensboro?

To learn how a community, a government and individuals within both groups grapple with a serious and controversial problem. The crux of Wray’s problem appears to have been trust – the lack thereof…

I’ve also followed last year’s Durham City Manager debacle and this year’s Durham DA’s handling of the Duke lacrosse case for a similar reason: to learn how leaders, elected or otherwise, and “lowly” citizens grapple with crippling problems at the highest echelon of their civic structures.

What will I do with Greensboro’s and Durham’s “lessons well-learned”? Well, I believe it has helped sharpen my understanding of internal politics within a governmental organization, helped me focus on the relevant and salient actions of those at the top and, I hope this never happens, helped prepare me, an individual citizen, to step-forward and work with others to sort out similar messes should they ever occur in Chapel Hill.

BTW, it was nice seeing Greensboro’s ‘blogging Council rep Sandy Carmany yesterday at ConvergeSouth. Her community outreach, including her comments on the Chief Wray case, set a standard for elected officials.

ConvergeSouth 2006

Friday, October 13th, 2006

I really enjoyed Greensboro’s first ‘blog-con ConvergeSouth, an “unconference” that attracted quite a few interesting and/or notorious folks. Good conversation (no surprise as Anton “Mr. Sugar” points out that ‘bloggers are usually good conversationalist), good food and a chance to learn by interaction.

Tomorrow’s promises to be even better.

Elizabeth Edwards will keynote on “Building On-line Communities”. I imagine she’ll be talking about her just released book Saving Graces and her experiences ‘blogging on One America Committee‘s ‘blog.

Beyond that, there’s an interesting list of other “known” guests.

I plan to get some feedback from the news-oriented folk on how to break the perma-link mess our local ‘blog community has with the HeraldSun and News Observer.

Sandy Carmany’s Balancing Act

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Sandy Carmany, District 5 representative for the Greensboro City Council, has set a high standard of public outreach for elected officials with her ‘blog .

This blog is my attempt to have an ongoing dialog with citizens and keep you up to date on issues I deal with on the Greensboro City Council and other governmental bodies on which I serve. I hope to provide information and details so you will know “the rest of the story.”

She started her grand experiment March 17th, 2005

Thanks to the urging and encouragement from numerous bloggers, I am going to attempt to publish this blog and focus on the various issues I must deal with as a Greensboro City Council member. I hope to explain my stands on issues and solicit your input and concerns in order to make more informed decisions.

I’ve followed the travails of Greensboro’s Council, via Sandy’s ‘blog, almost from day one. She’s eloquent, detailed and timely. And, quite obviously, dedicated.

But now she’s taking a step back to re-balance her commitment.

I can either do my job or write about it, but I can’t do BOTH effectively right now,”

Quite right, I understand that problem.

So does Greensboro ‘blog guru Ed Cone.

She’s overwhelmed by the demands of answering detailed questions on complex issues. She’s tired as well of the pissy little reprimands for things like not responding fast enough to comments to suit some of her readers.

I don’t blame her a bit.

But, he understands, as do many other local ‘bloggers do, the “power of this medium” and believes Carmany will rise again:

I’m sure Carmany will keep blogging, because she’s a pragmatist and she gets the power of this medium. We’re lucky to have her in Greensboro, and we need more of what she’s doing, not less.

She’s a shining light in a landscape populated by politicians unwilling to effectively reach out to their constituencies.

I hope Sandy will rediscover her balance soon.



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