Saturday, February 14, 2009

Power of the Blog

Exactly two weeks ago, I posted "Public and accessible" which described the antics of trying to access a public building in my hometown. As I thought about the problem, I knew I should do more than just bemoan the issue here. I wrote an email, included the post's link and sent it to the county commissioners, the county manager and the county attorney.
I am pleased to report that two of the commissioners responded, promising to look into the issue. Interim County Manager Brenda Fox responded with a letter, (hard copy, signed and sent through the USPS!) dated February 10. I'd like to share this with you because I always give fair consideration to all sides of an issue.

Dear Ms. Carter:
This correspondence is in regard to your February 1, 2009 e-mail to myself and the Board of County Commissioners concerning access issues at the Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro.
The Courthouse is in the midst of a large renovation that has created some inconvenience to our customers. Many different areas have been modified and/or blocked off for some period of time. As a part of this renovation, the Lower Ground (LG) entrance on Eugene Street has been closed to the general public but remains open for use as handicap entrance in compliance with A.D.A. regulations.
After receiving your e-mail, I check and discovered that, indeed, there was tape across the door and a sign indication (sic) no entry. This signage has been removed and proper signage will be put on the entrance door immediately.
As a part of the renovation project, we will be creating and installing a new sign package for the entire building which will correct all old signage and better reflect the changes we have made to the building. The new signs should correct the old signs and make navigating the Courthouse easier than before.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your correspondence and your interest in Guilford County. I sincerely regret your trouble and any inconvenience you experienced on your trip to the Courthouse. With your input and the new signage package, we hope to make your next trip a little easier.
Brenda Fox

I must admit, it is nice to find a positive and simple solution in a day where bureaucracy tends to get in the way!
Good job Guilford County!


  1. You made a difference! This is great. Hope next time you are by there it is all fixed.

  2. Thanks Janet! I'll be reporting back after I go again!

  3. There you go Iris. Rocking. This is a revolutionary tool. The citizen journalist. While I am sure that you, of all people, recognize that it is a dual edged sword, hopefully those of us who have something positive to say will win out over the nay sayers.

    Good job my friend.

  4. Wow - now I'm blushing! Thanks to the Logistician for such kind words. I do believe that citizen journalism is a force to be reckoned with and any savvy public figure is going to have to take notice if they want to stay in touch wtih true opinion. Not so long ago, those in power could ignore squeaky wheels because there was little impact. As long as the regular media channels were controlled, power moguls could discount a bit of dissention. Today, there is no filter to control and anyone with a legitimate issue can be heard by the masses. Those who choose to squawk about nothing of relevance lose credibility and will eventually hang themselves.

  5. It a true democratization. Because of the level of polarization in the political debate today, much is being made of the fact that we are a "republic" in which, theoretically, the supreme power lies in a body of citizens with the power to vote. Some suggest that also refers to a representative form of government, but that is not as clear. At any rate, there was a concern about the average citizen to make decisions, and thus the Electoral College and other mechanisms built into the system.

    There is no more powerful force than the ability of citizens to accomplish something through the Internet. It's revolutionary. That's why my concept is directed at college students and called, "It's Your Turn."