Communication issues

Take the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey

Councilman Reynolds announced at Council Tuesday night that there were 361 responses so far to the Communications Survey.

Gadfly was mightily relieved that the survey seems to have gotten off to a good start.

But we should still beat the drums. Gadfly urges followers not only to make sure to take the survey but to strongly recommend it to others.

And he hopes the City will keep beating the drums too. Gadfly saw a brief note in the Bethlehem Press, for instance, but only about the fact of the survey — no explanation of what it is for and why it is important — no sense of why it is important for people to invest some time to do it. Gadfly feels it’s worthy of planting an interview in which the Mayor, Councilman Reynolds, or somebody could “pitch” the importance of the survey. There’s no explanation of the survey, no “hook,” on the City web page either.

Gadfly — an inveterate worrier as well as whiner — hopes we’re doing all we can to engage public participation.

Councilwoman Van Wirt is doing her part — look at her not a half-hour ago not only beat the drum but crack the whip on the “Complainers of Bethlehem” Facebook page! She’s in the face of the tiger! I’ll bet by now her house has been toilet-paper’d.


A related comment about communication–

In recent “modest proposals” both here and at Council meetings (see under Topics on the sidebar), Gadfly has advanced the notion that City Council meetings be seen more as the face and the hub of City governance, and in other places he has whined about the venue for the Mayor’s “State of the City” address.

Councilman Reynolds suggested that the Mayor’s address could be repeated at Council, and Tuesday the Mayor did that. There were virtually no attendees from the public and  — wouldn’t you know — audio problems rendered the live-stream useless.

Goddam and etc., etc. etc., Gadfly was heard to say. Gadfly who didn’t audio record that portion of the meeting.

So the wider public audience still didn’t have the opportunity to hear the Mayor present the address.

A shame. Bad luck.

Gadfly clapped after. Solitary. Like one hand clapping. Awkward.

Regardless of your politics, the “State of the City” address is a big deal. And there were lots of good things in the address. Things to feel good about.

So, ok, the Mayor’s perspective on the state of the City may not be everybody’s. And Gadfly has also modestly proposed next year gathering maybe 4 people to provide their versions. So that this ritual occasion can be one of wide healthy conversation.

But, though Gadfly appreciates Councilman Reynold’s suggestion and the way the Mayor responded immediately to that suggestion,  the empty Council chamber still didn’t quite feel the right place for the address. Maybe he would have felt differently if the occasion had been bally-hoo’d a bit as being available on television and the audio had worked.

In some way the “State of the City” address has to be heard, felt, wrestled with, ingested, responded to by the wider general public.

As is, it’s too easy for those “out here” to miss it completely.

Take the “Connecting Bethlehem” survey

One thought on “Communication issues

  1. No matter how many responses they get, this survey is not about how best to communicate, but whether people use or would use certain methods. This seems to reflect an embedded assumption that whatever is easiest or most popular is therefore the best.

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