Took a bit of a break for my birthday and for a great family daytrip yesterday!
So I've just cruised several of the local blogs (Hayduke, Tale of Two Cities, Columbia Talk, Chris Bachman) and the comments on their posts regarding the redevelopment of Town Center are-- and no offense intended-- underwhelming. I go to Columbia Compass, and wow, Bill Santos has stirred up a hornet's nest! Well done, Bill! (Makes me wonder if my own decision to go semi-anonymous [a la Tony Stark is Iron Man] was a good one).
OK, so I read the local fishwrap-- at least the fine Patuxent publications and the Sun-- and I find, nothing. OK, maybe the Post and Examiner have more. And perhaps I'm bitter because MY letter to the editor was one that wasn't printed last weekend! Maybe there's this entire, rich debate going on, that I don't know about. But I doubt it.
So what's the deal? Some possible alibis:
1. Of course, it's the middle of July. People aren't tuned into community affairs.
2. The presentation by GGP happened just over a week ago-- hasn't had time to sink into the community yet.
3. Maybe the discussion that has gone on is representative of the interest level of the topic, and I'm just looking for something that isn't there?
So I have no illusions that is this point, the redevelopment of Town Center is of primary interest to the wonkosphere and to the Cult O' Columbia. (The former applies to people like myself and all my blogging and letter-writing colleagues; the latter to all of those Columbians, regardless of ideology, age or term of residency, whose blood gets pumped by local affairs-- you can be part of both groups) But a lot of these blog posts that I just mentioned above are very strong-- and pose some very interesting thoughts to consider. Don't we owe it to ourselves to write something a little more probing and pondering than "good job" or "why do you like this?" in response?
I have to toss a little venom here at the letters to the editor pages. I can not believe that there haven't been more letters written in the past week on the presentation than have seen print. And I know that at least mine didn't suck! : ) So why haven't I seen more?
At this very early stage, I find the quality of public discourse on this topic to be very low. It is very easy for a corporation, elected official or advocacy group to get their voices heard. But forums such as these blogs, and the letters pages, are supposed to represent the town square for the citizenry. Failure to participate in such forums will lead to the end results being one crafted by the corporations, elected officials and advocacy groups. And if that happens all bets are off.