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February 01, 2008


Janet Evans

I don't visit your blog...I'm really busy. But obviously you read mine. How do I know that? Because on Patrick Mcllheran's blog you took a jab at my blog

Hmmm...What did I do to you?

Anyway...Since I am stopping by I found this topic interesting since I have purchased two "tapes" from an EC meeting in the past. Not only were they almost impossible to understand, but there is so much background noise, cell phone interference, loud laughing overriding the actual voices in the meeting and poor quality in general, that it just makes it not worth the effort to listen to the tapes.

Plus...I had to dig up an old cassette player..who really uses those anymore?

I agree with you on this.

But I also say, keep the meetings to the point and follow the agenda. We don't need comedy club routines on these tapes. It doesn't sound pretty.

John Michlig

At meetings I attend, I use a digital recorder that cost me under $100. It holds 10 hours+ of audio, captures the ambient sound very, very well (far superior to "official" tapes) and it allows for instant access of any piece of audio you might need. On more than one occasion I've been able to answer protests of "I didn't say that" with the actual recording of the actual quote.

The city would do well to go to that sort of set up, in addition to more room mics.

This city desperately needs to upgrade the TRANSPARENCY of its development procedures, and I can assure you there are people who want the exact opposite to occur.

Bryan Maersch

The Franklin Technology Commission has been looking into bringing all the City meetings into a on line E-City environment. But as you know, taxes are an issue with most Franklin residents. While as you state one digital recorder is $100 and we would need multiple recorders. The TC is a body of technology professionals that are looking at the whole picture instead of a small piece as stated in the Strategic Technology Plan that was recently presented to the Common Council. If we are going to purchase technology for the city, we want to make sure that it will be compatible with the E-City environment we want to build. However if you know of any corporation or citizen that is willing to donate several digital recorders, bring them on. I am sure the city will not turn them away.

Also the article you blogged about by John Neville and the gap in the recording was due to participants not speaking into the microphone provided.

Janet, as for your comment, I was at that EC meeting and with the EC's poor organization at that meeting, I don't think there was anyone there who knows how to properly use a simple analog tape recorder, much less a digital one. The meeting reminded me of a free - for - all.

Janet Evans


Thanks for your info about the meeting. If you want to listen to how that meeting sounded on tape...let me know!

I agree that taxpayers are not going to be interested in purchasing digital recorders right now, considering the current tax situation...

I feel sorry for those who have to transcribe these meetings when they have to listen to what I heard.

I can only go by the two tapes I had and by my observations from attending another EC meeting.

Also, I think all cell phones should be turned off when you are seated next to recording equipment.

Greg Kowalski

Yes, that's exactly what Franklin residents DON'T want to pay for - better recording devices for better transparency in government.

At least that's only 2 residents I know of that would NOT want to pay the extra what? Ten cents? I mean, c'mon - if several digital recorders are available at $100 a piece, that means we're talking about $700 split among 33,000 residents plus all the businesses in Franklin.

Now if the recorders cost thousands of dollars a piece, we might have something.

Right now, the statements made: "You know, $700 is just TOO MUCH for Franklin taxpayers!" is a little weak. Especially when you look-over the data sheets on how much money the City spends on other things every month, like light poles, ink cartridges, and road projects.

Janet Evans

Greg, in fairness, no one said this: "Right now, the statements made: "You know, $700 is just TOO MUCH for Franklin taxpayers!"

I agree with you, there is too much wasteful spending. If digital recorders can be purchased with money "in the budget" then I don't think there would be opposition. There's no argument being started here. Since the Technology Commission is looking into an online E-city government, perhaps Bryan already knows what the budget would allow.

Actually, wouldn't it be nice if all meetings should be video recorded? Now there's transparency. The School Board meetings used to be video recorded. I never have found out why that ended.

Greg Kowalski


It probably "cost too much."

When it comes to open and transparent government, I strongly believe that opposition will be extremely tiny, and those in favor will be a significant majority.

If our budget "can't afford it" today, then I stand with Janet - eliminate the wasteful spending done on a monthly basis, and I'll be pretty darn sure that $700 will not be an issue.

Bryan Maersch

As per usual Janet, Greg does not read what is written.

The Technology Commission does not just go into a tizzy like the EC does over a pamphlet rack. Unlike the pamphlet rack, there is major costs involved in Technology. Especially if you do not want to spend taxpayer dollars over and over again to get it right. They look at the total picture (hence the Strategic Technology Plan) to make sure that what they are spending taxpayer money for is part of a thought out process.

But what do you expect from the EC as they have been working for the past couple of years Discussing the Administrative rules, Procedures and order. They still don't even have that down yet.

Bryan Maersch

One last thing I want to reiterate. It is not the $700 for digital recorders that is at issue. It is making sure if we buy digital recorders that the infrastructure to allow for E-City technology is compatible with what we buy. That is what can run into a much higher expenditure. The vision is there but the Technology Commission does not believe in knee jerk management of the city's technology resources.

Greg Kowalski


There's absolutely no need to bring the Commission I sit on when you're trying to make a point relative to your Commission.

That's just rather childish.

So, how long will the Technology sit on this "strategic technology plan?" I have a bad feeling that it's all words with no actions, and the excuse to keep residents at bay when asked will be: "We're trying to save your taxes!"

I'm sick of excuses and want answers. If that makes people on Commissions relate to what you'd call, "Going into a tizzy," so be it.

Bryan Maersch

No, Greg I am just stating my observations about the commission you sit on as Janet brought up how disorganized it sounded on the tapes. The tapes do tell the story and a digital recorder can't change that. Kristen told me herself she feels she is the only one competent to be on that commission hense the disorganization. But that aside, at least the Technology Commission has a planned course of how to proceed with the technology needs of the city and how to review those needs with out going off half cocked like you propose.

That is why the City Council has stated how much they admired the Stratigic Plan and it's organization on how to go forward with technology for the city. While they sniggerd at the bumblings of the EC that could barely put together in a half way inteligent plan on the City's recycling plan at their last meeting.

Sorry but the TC does not do business the way you are use to.

Greg Kowalski

Unfortunately, Bryan, my Commission was never the main focus of this discussion - it was the technology of the City of Franklin, of which there's a Technology Commission.

The only way the EC was brought into this was through you, Bryan, who seems to be bent on trying to find something to "pick on" because apparently someone must have received orders to change the subject.

As for the Council meetings for both of our Commissions, I couldn't say whether or not the Council "admired" yours. Unfortunately, I don't think you have any right to state the things the Council supposedly "sniggerd" during the EC's presentation. You weren't at that meeting!

Unless, of course, the person who's giving you orders is also providing some insight from within the Council's personal discussions on issues. But then again, how could there be a consensus unless all the Council members were talking outside of a public meeting on a City matter...which would be technically be illegal...


As a final note, I think your mission to get the final jab at me is quite sad. It shows the level of professionalism and maturity you have...which apparently isn't much.

Bryan Maersch

Again your understanding of Technology is simplistic and juvenal. So I will not bother to respond any further.

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