Sunday, January 20, 2008
A Lesson Learned . . .
A week ago Saturday the Kansas City Star ran a story in which Kansas City area suburbs were ranked. From any Raytowner’s point of view, the story was not welcome news. Our hometown received the lowest ranking in customer service and dissemination of information from city hall than any other suburb sampled. To underscore their point, the reporters for the story wrote “neither Mayor David Bower nor City Administrator Michael Miller responded to repeated email or telephone messages seeking comment for this article.” At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Board of Aldermen the Mayor made comments regarding the survey. But those comments did not include any enlightenment as to why he failure to respond to the opportunity to speak on behalf of Raytown. Most people are not upset with the survey results. If the recent New Hampshire Primary taught us anything, it is that polls and surveys are often written in sand. The strangest of events can change the result. Just as Hillary Clinton’s spontaneous bursting into tears can sway voters, so can a street slick with ice impact the result of a survey. People are, however, upset that calls from the Kansas City Star were not returned. The Mayor ignored an opportunity to speak on behalf of the city. Other cities, ranked at the lower end of the scale (with Raytown) had spokesmen who responded appropriately to questions raised by the Star’s article. Why didn’t Raytown? Hopefully, Mayor Bower has learned from this experience. Government is best practiced in the open. Ignoring difficult questions from the media is not a solution to our problems in Raytown. Indeed, facing such questions and taking them head on is the first step in finding answers. ABOUT THE K.C. STAR ARTICLE . . . Some contributor's to this blog have mistaken the Star survey with a similar survey conducted by the City of Raytown last year. The survey conducted by the Star was not related to the Raytown survey. Though many of the same conclusions were reached by both surveys.