This evening we tripped across an informative series of posting by the Cecil County Young Republican Club. That group has maintained a blog for some time, but to some degree it has picked up national sound bites and commentary for its site. (We have plenty of access to high quality independent national material, but local content is another matter.) Occasionally, they’ve had some local posts. But this evening the organization held a Cecil County Budget & Tax Forum for its members and guests. All five county commissioners were invited, but only Commissioners Hodge and Mullins attended. In addition to hosting the forum, the club provided a valuable service by blogging the engaging exchange live as the crowd asked questions of the elected leadership.
After we located the post, we read it carefully for the commissioners were being handed hard, important questions. They were the type that independent journalist used to ask so we could get some understanding of a subject in our weekly newspaper, which we greatly valued. But legacy media pulled back from digging into local political stories some time ago. Even when they cover some of them, they seldom ask follow up questions and rarely ask difficult questions of the political leadership. In the days that I fondly recall it was those follow-up questions to the standard spin that politicians like to toss out, that provided me with some insight and helped me make decisions as a voter. Since those days faded, we all have to dig harder to get local news content.
The value of this live blog was that the club was asking tough questions of the county’s leadership and they followed up when the query wasn’t answered or more digging into the facts was called for. Whatever you think about the county’s tax levy this year, it is this type of informative reporting that allows citizens to stay informed about the process since safe campaign slogans from politicians weren’t being accepted.
We wish we’d known about this so we could’ve joined the discussion live and asked a few questions of our own. Perhaps the next time the Republican Club hosts an important local topic and blogs it live, they could announce it a couple of weeks ahead of time on the other blogs in the county. Since we’re not members of any Republican Club, we didn’t know about it, but it was sure a public service and we’d be happy to post the announcement. That would increase participation and be a valuable public service provided by the club.
We’re not sure if the Democrats have a blog, but they too need to do similar things. However, when they do it, ask questions that provide real insight for voters as we decide on candidates and issues.
We recommend others read this for it gave us insight into what Commissioners Hodge and Mullins were thinking as they worked on the budget this year and it speaks to what they say they are going to do next year. That’s the first deep understanding we have had on this topic. Click here for the post. Thank you Cecil County Young Republican Club for providing this valuable service. Sorry we missed the live blog. As serious readers and followers of local topics, your effort provided the best insight that we’ve seen on this local tax issue this year.