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April 19, 2010


Bryan Maersch


Please talk to your friend the Mayor who you often have coffee with at Target. The redesigned website approval is sitting on his desk for over a month. It has all these neat features you drool about.

Your short sited blog posting could be avoided if you just did a little research. But then again, you do just as Greg does many times. Jump to conclusions.

Get your facts straight before inserting foot in mouth.

John Michlig

Having done my research, I will repeat:

Technology Commission: Can you emulate Kowalski and get this simple-but-extremely useful Web 2.0 implementation on the City of Franklin website, ASAP?

Or will I have to do it for you? Wanna race?

Look - I'm on the EDC. I know all about "hurry up and wait."

Shake the tree!

Seriously - wanna race?

Bryan Maersch


My response is here:


John Michlig

(I tried to comment at Bryan's blog, but his comments field doesn't allow for paragraph spacing and it looks like a ransom letter. Here's what I wrote:)

I’m afraid you somewhat overestimate my interactions with the mayor. We had coffee at the Target Starbucks on a single occasion.

On to your angst:

First, your calendar does not have the push functionality of a simple GoogleCalendar implementation, and is therefor nothing to get too excited about on its own. Period. I would not approve it as it is; instead, I would specify that all meeting times and dates be available on a GoogleCalendar to which anyone can subscribe. Click on the event, and THEN you are led to your “agenda & minutes” grid; now it becomes useful.

Updates and changes are communicated to each subscriber’s GoogleCalendar (on desktop computer and smartphone) automatically; they even get a notification.

For those who choose NOT to have a free GoogleCalendar account, your grid is available as always.

GoogleCalendar events can be tagged and subcategorized; this means that INDIVIDUAL ISSUES AND PROJECTS can be threaded through each and every meeting relevant to that issue or project.

Looking at your grid, how do I know what meetings I should attend if I’m tracking the Franklin Automotive office building?

Can your calendar automatically communicate a meeting change to all involved and interested parties?

My “best possible world” interface would include a constantly updating live projects list. Click an item on the list, and all related meetings are shown.

Davis, California has an interesting implementation: http://cityofdavis.org/ed/projects/



For my part, as a member of the Economic Development Commission I have a “to-do” list of items I think the EDC should accomplish (or at least UNDERTAKE).

In my opinion, the EDC — for whatever reason (no budget, few meetings, etc.) — does not accomplish a great deal.

I could choose to blame any number of external factors, but, instead, I choose to ignore “blame” and instead take responsibility; I’m seated at the table, so I am empowered to motivate the group.

Therefor, anything on my list that is not accomplished is something the EDC WAS/IS UNABLE TO DO; and, since I sit at each and every meeting, I consider it something I WAS UNABLE TO ACCOMPLISH.

Sitting on the mayor’s desk? If I can’t get it off his desk, then it’s MY failing. Chairman Skowronski doesn’t put my item on the EDC agenda? Then I fell short; I’m not going to waste time blaming him.

Reasons, not excuses. If you write about the something the EDC or Trails Committee can’t/didn’t get done, for example, I won’t be pointing the finger elsewhere. If it’s stuck on the mayor’s desk, I DIDN’T GET IT DONE.

So – wanna race?

Bryan Maersch

The race is on John - I have been told by our Aldermanic representative Steve Olson that he got the Mayor to pull the request out from under the leg of his desk that he was using to keep if from wobbling and send it on to Director of Administration Mark Luberda for implementation next week.

As for the Technology Commission, none of the members have the luxury of "working from home nor taking coffee with the Mayor". We are ADVISORY to the Council and Mayor, not empowered or for actual implementation time tables (I'm bad). If they choose not to take our advice as they have done at times, I don't believe we are there to be your whipping boys because they don't or won't.

Read the powers of the Technology Commission, there is nothing that gives us the power to override the Mayor or the Council.

If you choose as and EDC member to motivate the Mayor and take things on as your own personal mission in what ever form you do, then "good for you", you are a much better commissioner than any other commissioner on any other commission.

Power to you but in this case the race was dependent on the Mayor and the City staff putting the website in place. We can't do it for them.

If you have further suggestions as to improvements to the City Website, please feel free to submit them to the Chairman of the Technology Commission Scott Meade, he is always willing to listen to residents and we will look at your request and consider it's implementation on it's merit.

But get real John, a blog is not the place to make that request. Would you take a request from a blog for the EDC?

I think not! The rest is just a pissing contest.

John Michlig

Score one for the blog, which evidently lit a fire under you and Made It So in the space of a single Tuesday morning. All I had to say was, "Wanna race?"

Feel manipulated? :)

See - you can get ANYTHING done if you're properly motivated.

Bryan Maersch

Nope, You could have just called Steve Olson like I did and he would have told you too. After all you are a just a Citizen Kane too!

John Michlig

Tomato, tomahto.

Greg Kowalski

Guys - all I was trying to do was add a page to my website that promotes all the great organizations our community has, with their events and meetings for any resident to attend and learn more about them (and perhaps join!).

I'm disappointed to a certain extent that it looks like some got a little sensitive and feelings were hurt over the process. That wasn't my intention. I never expected my calendar to create negative feelings.

When the new city website is uploaded to the servers, I look forward to the "enhanced" city calendar. But please note that in the city's calendar at this time there are no mentions of any community/civic groups and their happenings. So it looks like the only way to access a calendar of events/meetings from our community organizations would still be through www.myfranklintoday.com.

Technology Commission Member

Hey Michlig - Get your ass in gear and get some freakin' economic development going! We've got businesses closing left and right, we've got parcels in the business park that are open/unsold, we have blight....get with the program! How come you haven't solved these things? YOU are responsible! YOU are not taking your job seriously! YOU must be held accountable! Check Kowalski's blog...he's always pointing out the failings of economic development in the City! Read up and fess up...YOU are the problem! These are much more important than the calendar formatting and functionality on the City's web site, don't you think? Or, perhaps that is your problem....spending too much time in the weeds?

Greg Kowalski

Considering that Michlig has been one of the very few on the EDC who speaks at meetings and proposes agenda items for EDC meetings, I think that was a little harsh.

But, you are right (and thanks for reading my website!), the EDC does need to get its act in gear. The sooner the better. Based on what I know and what I've seen at the handful of EDC meetings I've attended, I don't believe Michlig is anywhere NEAR being the problem.

Technology Commission Member

Well, HE said that HE would accept responsibility for the lack of results on the part of HIS commission. So be it.

I think economic development is vastly more important than push functionality of a calendar. But, perhaps I could be wrong....tax revenue, more jobs, reduced blight versus calendar lookups and formatting. Wow.

Maybe we should have a race of some sort as to who can generate more economic development in Franklin? If the "race" worked wonders with Bryan, Olson, and the Mayor, maybe it will work wonders with Michlig, the EDC, and the Mayor?

Greg Kowalski

Hey, now THAT is a good idea! If the current example proves anything, it looks like one-upmanship does wonders in the City of Franklin. I'm all for encouraging something similar in terms of economic development.

I think the issue pertaining to the community calendar is that residents don't really have many means to know about happenings in Franklin. Bringing a community together can be just as important as developing one. What's the saying? United we Stand, Divided we Fall? Furthermore, it can be argued along the lines of how can one develop a community when there isn't much of a community to develop in the first place, due to every being segregated into their own subdivisions.

John Michlig

I don't disagree with "Technology Commission Member."

Come to an EDC meeting. I'm trying!

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