Mentor Headlands Beach, Lake County Ohio (1)
This blog is a voluntary organization. All the posts and comments depend upon the work of the contributors and commenters.
When we had a Cleveland VOTF, people wanted to take votes and make policy declarations. I pointed out that if we have 90 members who wanted A but none were willing to put any work into it, and 10 members who wanted B and were willing to put a lot of time into it, then we would get more done if those ten people just did their thing even if they had to do it under another name.
Catholics and Americans need places where we can talk and network without all the supervision that we find in parishes and other organizations. We can learn a lot from interesting people and differing backgrounds, and we can find people who share our interests, and agenda. That seems to be where this blog is headed. Maybe things will be generated that will take place elsewhere rather than here.
The Lake County mental health board where I worked for thirteen years conducted almost all its business in public with governance and planning processes that were highly visible and accessible to all parties. These enabled us to pass a new mental health levy with over 60 percent of the vote when statewide renewal levies usually squeaked by with just over fifty percent of the vote. We even managed the unheard of, -moving programs and staff from agency to agency without much stress.
If we contributors and commenters often talk about what we doing and where we may be going in visible posts rather than comments, and in public rather than private e-mails, then extensive participation of contributors and commenters will more likely happen.
Fortunately we have e-mail as a private way to talk to one another, and we should use that to help the posting and commenting processes. People are more likely to change their behavior when they receive suggestions from friends rather than hostile critics. If we get “difficult” posters or commenters we can talk in private about how to manage them in public.
The mental health board went into Executive Session on very rare occasions when it discussed personnel or needed legal advice.
The e-mail survey that I had suggested (mainly to get us out of the e-mail jungle) is no longer needed. We can handle those issues easily in public on this blog format.
However such an e-mail survey may become very useful if ALL the contributors need to discuss an issue privately in a way that we can express ourselves candidly and anonymously because only a trusted aggregator knows the author of each response.
(1) A colleague once said that Lake County believes it is an island off the coast of Cleveland.
An innate tension also exists between globalization and localization. We need to pay attention to the global so as to avoid narrowness and banality. Yet we also need to look to the local, which keeps our feet on the ground. Together, the two prevent us from falling into one of two extremes.
-The Joy the Gospel