I know the world we have lived in over the past year has been difficult on many levels …but I also wonder why our elected officials in Howard County are not reaching out online to voters and members they represent?
In the past, elected officials (Howard County Executive, Howard County Council members, Board of Education members and others) would hold local events. Now many if not most of those events cost you money to attend (trust me I know) but they did it to talk to potential voters or supporters.
That has seemed to totally go away over the past year (and for a good reason). In the world we have been in over the past year it is possible to continue to meet (Zoom, Microsoft Teams and a number of other online tools) with folks elected members represent but very few have done so (that I have seen). Howard County Executive Ball recently did a fundraiser online for money to attend and a few others have held some sessions but other than that I do not know of a lot of other online events that was “for the people” (as opposed to an issue, or cause, or cost money to attend). If I am wrong…let me know.
Heck…it is hard to find many (or any) elected officials at events in person around Howard County these days. I have been to a bunch (see all the photos on my Blog Facebook page)…I have not seen many County Council Members, Board of Education Members or other elected officials at events held by our County Executive in person.
The group I will point at right now are the Howard County Board of Education Members. Where are you? Other than online in your meetings…when does the public as a whole have a chance to meet and/or discuss their concerns with you directly. The Coffee session was kind of a joke in many circles in the county (because you limited how many people could attend the online session) and I really hope you do not do that again…or at least do it better next time if you do it online.
I will get even more hyper local in this discussion…I live in District 3. So I am represented by Howard County Councilmember Christiana Rigby and Howard County Board of Education member Jolene Mosley. Goodness knows that folks in District 3 would love to talk to you two about issues. When and where is their opportunity to do so publicly (and for no cost)? Why is it that there has been little to no outreach to the community in this way? Questions I have today.
I will say the same thing about our State Senators and State Delegates. I get they have been busy recently…but when will they meet with you and me…in person or online (and without a fee associated to it to meet with them)?
Isn’t the deal we elect people to represent us…as we do, that they ask us for money and votes…so should we not expect they be available to talk to us at some point? Talk to us…the people they represent…with out a charge…without an expectation of more money before we can have a conversation about our issues or concerns?
This past year has been difficult…on everyone. But we should not lose access to our elected officials…and we should not expect that the only way to meet with them is via electronic communication (email) or via paying money for an event (online or in person)…we should have access to those members we elect and at no cost. That is what I believe.
If that is not their deal…and they are not willing to do so (meet with us without a cost associated to it)…is this who we really want representing us? It is a serious question I am asking myself right now.
So…I am asking myself…where are our elected officials?