Archaic Local Government
Communications Media?

In the year 2000, the City of Manistique and most Schoolcraft County government related organizations and agencies are without a web presence. If local governments had comprehensive web pages, the public could refer to minutes of public meetings, public notices, calenders of events and any public communications that could be retrieved via the internet and perused during an individual's spare time.

The City of Manistique and Schoolcraft County governments have a local government and educational cable tv channel that has been ignored and inoperative for typical video presentations for over 2 years. That Manistique and Schoolcraft County governments and administrations have neither a functioning web presence, as described, nor a functional local tv channel might indicate, to enlightened folk, elsewhere, a degree of ignorance, technophobia, illiteracy, political ignorance, and/or a variety of maladies not considered. That archaic printed legal public notice and access requirements are met does not indicate enlightened or accessible local government consistent with year 2000 life styles.

It would be appreciated, by some, if ASCII (text) files were generated as a part of local government documentation of public meetings and events, and such files were posted on a web site, such as this one. It would be appreciated by others if local public meetings were televised on a local cable tv channel. Others might want to promote community projects with a medium a little more current and effective than ancient Egyptian technology. Most of the infrastructure for internet and tv communications has been bought and paid for and could be very effective tools for communication between local government and community residents.

It would cost very little compared to the public communications value that is lost by much of the community that views local government with justifiable distrust. The untrustworthy will object to the exposure they will receive but that is a peril of progress too long deferred by the public record being less than public, to many.

Perhaps, if 20th century communication media and skills would be employed by Manistique and Schoolcraft County governments in the 21st century, this kibitzing message would have no merit.


During the "citizen's comments" period of the Manistique city council meeting, council was asked if the city had given consideration to a web site and the posting of minutes from various government meetings at such a site, for the purpose of providing public information access consistent with current technology. Without providing details, Greg Mulligan, mayor pro tem of council, stated that consideration of a web site had occurred several weeks ago with a view to letting the "sun shine in" on local government activity.


At the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners meeting, last night, an agenda item concerning the internet was lost to me in what appeared to be a 5 second mumble from an unidentified commissioner. If the content of the "mumble" was important, it elicited no recognizable comment from other board members, the audience or the press, during the official meeting time. It is possible that poor court room acoustics, my aging ears, or my seat close to the rear of the room may have contributed to lost comments. Perhaps the agenda item was of little to no significance and deserved no more than a mumble.


At the Manistique City Council, this evening, there may have been two relevent exchanges between council members and the city manager. Mayor Arnold asked City Manager Housler if a letter she associated with a "franchise" had been sent. He said it had. No details were provided that would enable an audience member to do anything more than guess about the content and recipient. It may be an effort to prompt Charter Communications to install video equipment to broadcast live and recorded video on Manistique's government and education cable channel.

Mayor Arnold asked councilman Mulligan about the status of a city internet web page. His answer indicated it was a work in progress; past the consideration stage.

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