At last Wednesday’s workshop of the town of Elkton Mayor Fisona led off the session by saying let’s all agree to forget this land swap thing. Everyone nodded and in just a few minutes (if that much) of discussion, it was all over. With significant financial challenges facing them, they weren’t interested in building a recreation center for years to come, though Commissioner Piner said he hoped they could do it in 4 or 5 years when things get better.
What was striking was how fast this approval came about in those fleeting few minutes. Since March when word started seeping out, many open sessions often involved long, heated discussisons. But on this Wednesday in October, they quickly and quietly dispatched a land policy issue that had occupied hours of time. We can only guess that there was a good deal of behind the scenes dialogue on this, perhaps in emails or one-on-one discussions. Whatever the case, everyone was on board with letting go of the land deal as the mayor suggested as soon as he brought it before the workshop. We were pleased with that October surprise, of course, and we’re relieved that it’s now over.
Our regular readers, ranging from nearly 200 on slow days to peaking out at around 430 on the days the town made lots of nosie, will recall that we launched this blog in order to bring attention to a deal involving some town land. By the time we marked our second month of existence on Sept. 10, we had a regular following of readers in the blogosphere looking for the “411 on the Mayor and Commissioners of Elkton.” Of course our deep focus on that one issue and the attention the town brought to it at meetings helped spread the word so we had a regular following. Then, too, others in the Cecil County blogopshere joined in helping spread the word.
The question we’re pondering right now is should we keep the blog or should we ditch it? Our primary purpose has been accomplished and the wranglings of the Mayor and Commissioners in day-to-day, painful detail are archived in the World Wide Web for anyone Googling up appropriate keywords. But our ongoing purpose, the one that drove a fair number of readers to our site regularly, no longer exists.
This experience, however, has shown us the important need for the larger community to have more news on what goes on at meetings, sort of the “411 on the Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of Elkton.” While coverage of the meetings has improved over the past few months, there are still so many things that aren’t covered.
Down on the canal, they have two dedicated bloggers focusing on Chesapeake City and one with a wider arena that pitches in as appropriate. But the largest town in the county is dependent on our daily newspaper as the gatekeeper for whatever does or doesn’t make it into print. In other places, such as Perryville and Port Deposit, they still have three newspapers covering the council (Havre de Grace Record, Whig, and the Herald).
We were surprised with the encouragement that we received when we started this so we now ask, should we keep it or should we pull the plug under the cover of midnight darkness some late October evening, as Halloween approaches Elkton?