Tweet, tweet

I said I wasn't going to do this, but I changed my mind.

Surely you have noticed that the "Timely Information" section of this site is rather poorly named, what with the big news about the Governor announcing his budget being the stagnant post for lo, these many months.  And despite my best intentions, it is unlikely that I will ever list the packet contents anymore, now that all the agenda-related packet materials are on the Town web site. 

So Twitter it is.

That section will now become a collection of tweets, each 140-characters max.  This will let me offer micro updates about whatever strikes my fancy.  Less detail, but more often. 

The structure will be a little different than the rest of the site.  For example, these won't show up in the "Recent Posts" list on the navigation bar on the left, nor will you be able to comment on the individual tweets.  If you don't want to come here to read these, you can "Follow me on Twitter" by clicking that link, found at the end of each tweet post.  You will need to set up a Twitter account to do so.  (But come on now, it's 2009 - doesn't everyone have a blog, a tattoo, a Twitter account and a hybrid vehicle?  Yeah, I'm short one of those too.  Alas, so behind the times!)     

So we'll see how this goes.    Thanks, as always, for paying attention.


mary carey said:

Oh pioneer!

Larry kelley said:

And don't forget to tell us what you have for lunch.

Just to be clear: the tweets only show up at the bottom of the home page. They do not archive on this site at all, so you can't read them by clicking on the Timely Info link on the nav bar. They do archive on Twitter though, so you can read all of them by "following" me.

Forgot to Twitter my lunch! Salad bar at Whole Foods on my way back from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission meeting in West Springfield. Oh wait, I'm in Facebook territory now... :-)

Bjorn said:

What does this "Twitter my lunch," in English mean? If it means wat I imagine, then you feel better after, I hope.

Tom said:

Hi Steph,

Saw your tweet Wed night. Thanks for update. I hope you'll have a moment to flesh this out a bit when you're not so busy. Best.

Articles: unan support = 2 Atkins TIF ones and solar panels. Unan opposition = lib $. Unan to call spring STM for lib $ if needed.
Tom G said:

Look I don't give two wooden nickels if they fly the flag six days or seven days. And I don't care if we commemorate 9/11 at the fire house or the War Memorial Pool but some people do care and the Select Board would do well to grant the request without too much more talk about when it can be talked about and when it can be schedule to be talked about, and after that gumming it to death.

Larry Kelley said:

Yeah, of course the problem NOW is if one, lone, brave SB member does NOT request the issue be placed on the 8/31 agenda then it does not get talked about and does not get voted on and the flags do not fly on 9/11.

I was struck by a recent comment of a high-ranking Scottish official who said he was "ashamed" when he saw the Scottish flag flying beside the Libyan flag at the jubilant welcome home for Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a terrorist mass murderer.

As I said at the meeting, it would not be my inclination to put this on the agenda, because I don't see any reason why we would reconsider the decision we made last year. There is no new information here. Some people want the flags to fly every year on 9/11, and some don't. Our solution was to compromise.

So I feel as though we're all set with that. But as I said at the meeting, any SB member can ask that we discuss it again. If someone does, we will. If no one does, we won't. I don't think this has anything to do with someone being brave or not; rather, it may mean that everyone is satisfied with the decision as it stands.

Larry Kelley said:

Oh, that's SPIN and you (a former auto industry flak) know it.

The 3-1 (with 1 member MIA) "decision" you made last year was a wimp out, last-minute, better-than-nothing "compromise" designed to avoid the gathering storm of deserved negative publicity.

You can't honestly tell me that you yourself think it's perfectly okay to restrict the 29 commemorative flags to flying in the downtown but once every three years on 9/11. Get real. Try to maintain your core.

Your facts and your assumptions are mistaken. The relevant part of last year's minutes is here.

Larry Kelley said:

Yeah, how could I forget that Weiss came up with the Solomon-like 3 year plan but was not at the meeting? But obviously if present, he would have supported his own motion and the vote would have been 3-1 (with Anne Awad resigned and living in South Hadley.)

I even forgot Robert Phillips—you know Aaron Hayden’s Campaign Manager—was also there and spoke in favor of flying the flags every year. Hopefully he will remind rookie Selectman Hayden about that over the next day or two.

And according to your own notes: “Ms. O'Keeffe said that she supported Mr. Weiss' proposal as a fair compromise, because while she supported flying the flags each year, the community is not united on the issue”

That is of course my “assumption”. That if last year the motion was to add 9/11 to the permanent short list of days the flags can fly you would have voted yes (as would Alisa).

Larry Kelley said:

Perhaps I should have used a question mark at the end of my last sentence???

At that meeting, I said that I had also been considering a compromise. Had Gerry not offered his, I would have suggested one. If you were to go back and watch that video, I think you would agree that I made my position very clear, and I don't think that I left any doubt as to how I would expect to vote if this issue were to come back again. I said that I believe a compromise was the best way to deal with this, that I didn't think it was an issue for which the outcome should be politicized by making it dependent on the attendance at a meeting or the make up of the board. Etc.

I'm not sure how you could have come away from last year's meeting with a different impression.

The Select Board had a good discussion about this last year, and I felt good about the outcome. I still do.

Larry Kelley said:

Keep telling yourself that, eventually you may convince your true believers.

On some things you do not "compromise"--unless of course, you are a politician.

YA said:


Larry Kelley said:

Your Twitter-like shorthand is confusing. Would you care to elaborate?

YA said:

While I too would fly the commemorative flags on 9/11 (as well as on Flag Day, 6/14), I also respect that there is a strong difference of opinion in town - and on the Select Board - about this issue. So I find it admirable that Stephanie has grasped this distinction, and this deepens my respect for her (even if she and I don't always agree ;-).

YA said:

Of course, the commemorative flags are already displayed on 6/14 (and for a few days thereafter).
As a practical matter, perhaps these flags could stay up between Labor Day and 9/11 each year, i.e.
9/11 would be the day they come down, perhaps in the late morning after the fire department ceremony?

Larry Kelley said:

Good point (s). I was kind of hoping the Governor would keep the state flags down (which of course include all the town flags) for a longer period of time to honor Senator Kennedy (an x-President gets 30 days for instance) rather than only till Sunday at dusk.

That way, on Monday night Stephanie or any other SB member could have requested the 29 flags go up in town center to commemorate/mourn Senator Kennedy. And if that period of mourning should happen to include 9/11...

I mean it is a tad odd that the DPW will put the flags up for Labor Day, September 7'th and then hurry to get them down the following day September 8'th so that they are not--God forbid!--visible on September 11.

Tom G said:

I miss Stephanie's blog posts but I understand her choice to spend the time working the issues not blogging about them.

What is missing (and unnecessarily so in my opinion) is the dialogue that use to occur in the comment section here at about the issues and SB meetings.

I'd like to suggest the dialogue could exist again here with minimal effort. If Stephanie were willing to create a new post for each meeting, and maybe a link to the meeting materials on the website, we could provide comments in the context of that meeting and other timely issues. Furthermore, Stephanie could choose to engage or not engage in that conversation.

I follow Steph's tweets and I appreciate them but tweeting is not a reasonable approximation of this forum. So how about it?

By the way Steph, you can get a widget to display your tweets on your website.

So how about it?

find 140 characters sufficient to respond responsably an have a discussion.

Larry Kelley said:

I guess my subtle point Tom is that under our current wishy-washy "nobody really in charge" form of government, Stephanie can do more good with her blog than being chair of the Select Board.

I expect to be caught up on the meeting summaries by the September 14th meeting, and I hope to be able to stay current after that. If not, I may try your suggestion Tom - thanks.

Per the widget: not sure what you mean. My tweets are already on the site, at the bottom of the home page.

Tom G said:

"I expect to be caught up on the meeting summaries by the September 14th meeting, and I hope to be able to stay current after that. If not, I may try your suggestion Tom - thanks."

I apologize for not knowing you were still doing SB meeting summaries and that your tweets are already on your website.

To me, there is great value in having an official written chronical of the meeting but if you get delayed in publishing them, having a post identified by the meeting date here still provides the forum for feedback and discussion. Also, thanks for the link to the "Packet Archive" page. I see the materials are being organized in a way that makes them easy to find.

The most recent meeting minutes on the town website are March 9. I know how that keeping the minutes is an important and yet time-consuming task and may not be the best use of time for policymakers, especially elected officials who are working as essentially volunteers.

The select board might consider having a suitable town employee or intern or paid position draft a first draft of the minutes within a few days of the meeting, and have the chair or Select Board secretary edit as appropriate for presentation to the rest of the committee for approval.

If not this model than some model in which the board controls approval of the minutes and delegates the time-consuming component of the process. Perhaps a government major at Umass, nominated by the head of the department, would make a good intern.

Thank you for all you do. Yours is not an easy job. I think you are very good at it.



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