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I haven’t posted in a while. So I thought I would address a few things that have popped up since the election…

#1 – Policy Questions

First, thanks to those of you who have reached out with policy questions, and my position on recent events. I appreciate all of your questions! I will not, however, be speaking on city related positions on FB, primarily out of deference to our current city council. They will continue to serve until the end of the year.

I also firmly believe that city related policy matters should go through ordinary channels first. I also generally will not comment on city related issues on FB. It does not facilitate discussion very well. I am always up for coffee, however, and am happy to accept any invitations to community groups. I will be very open in those contexts about my positions, and to listen to concerns. Those are simply more productive venues to discuss issues. While I like FB, and it can be productive, it also has a corresponding toxicity that often times can outweigh whatever productive exchanges occur. When was the last time you were actually persuaded on a comment thread?

#2 – Limitations of Facebook

Secondly, don’t get me wrong. I am still going to post on ideas in the abstract, other good ideas that I like from other communities, writers that I like, and innovative urban planners, just not about Iowa City projects for now. Every good project has an embryonic stage, and I have never found FB to be a particularly effective medium to discuss those ideas. And, of course, things have to proceed through internal channels first before we can comment. Internal details have to be worked out as well. Once we have public hearings, and issues popup at those, i will be more likely to clarify, or respond to some of those issues.

#3 – Broad Community Interests

Third, if I focus on one project, that doesn’t mean that I am not concerned about yours. We are a city of 73,000 people. There are multiple issues that we will be addressing, and we cannot address everyone at the same time…Remember all ideas, and projects have to go through staff first. Do your homework first, and develop your plan before presenting anything with staff.

Finally, we’ll be focusing on interesting projects, but I like discussing those most in person in community venues. So while I’ll be posting some general things on FB, most of the posts will relate to actual events that you should be attending!

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