Marc Ott wants our thoughts. But his blog won’t share them.

Our City Manager has a blog.  Great idea, right? Well, just keep reading.

In his latest post, he discusses pool closings, as well as the possible closing of Barton Springs.  At the end, he indicates that he is “looking forward to our thoughts” on the issue.   Austinites have thoughts.  Again, this sounds good, right?

One can submit emails to the City Manager through a conveniently placed form on the blog.  However, citizen comments are not displayed for other readers.  This is a big missed opportunity.   Some might argue that allowing citizen comments would require extensive moderation and the City doesn’t have the resources for such a project.   I agree moderation might be necessary, but I am certain that the City could recruit effective volunteer moderators.  As a matter of fact, I used the email form to send along this suggestion a week ago.

I have not heard back.

Until the blog becomes a tool for engagement – as opposed to just another niche broadcast platform – the City and Mr. Ott will be leaving plenty of public value on the table.

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