Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jones: E-mails, blogs changed my job

Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones says he is no longer the main source of information for county commissioners on his board.

Today, the barrage of emails and blogs sent to commissioners raises new challenges "in terms of keeping up with the information board members have to make decisions," Jones wrote in column published Sunday in the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record.

He wrote: "In the 'old' days before e-mails, Blackberrys, and blogs (which was not that long ago), a county manager had what would now be considered a luxurious amount of time to research and communicate facts and recommendations to the elected body."

"In many cases, this would constitute almost the full extent of the information available to the governing group. In today’s world of instant access to information, elected officials often receive a barrage of data and opinions that may or may not be accurate or valid, but are, nonetheless, provided with the intent to influence decision-making."

A recent trend, he notes: board members who use laptops during meetings.

The computers are "green" because they save paper, he says, but commissioners send and receive email during discussions.

"In short, technology has expanded the partnership that once existed mostly between the board and its appointed manager to include anyone with an e-mail account or a cell phone," Jones wrote.

- Doug Miller


Mary said...

It's good for democracy that Jones no longer has an exclusive partnership with the commissioners. Assuming they are intelligent, the commissioners should be able to separate the useful information from the chaff.

Anonymous said...

"Assuming they are intelligent..."

That's not a wise assumption.

Anonymous said...

after the dss embezlement something smells rotten in denmark...

Rob said...

Actually, I would assume that our Commissioners are of at least average intelligence. That much might be discerned from watching the civil discourse displayed at a typical meeting. Of course this does not mean they are always wise. And even if they are intelligent and wise, it does not mean that all the answers are available on the internet.