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A Challenge


Out of curiosity, I put “Egypt firsthand account” into Google, and got over 600,000 hits. Obviously, I didn’t check them all, but the first page or two were exactly what I asked for: either firsthand accounts of what’s going on in Egypt from people who have been there recently, (or are still there) or stories about those people.
What does that have to do with Stephenville? Directly, nothing, but it provides an interesting contrast: “Stephenville city council firsthand account” returns 74,900 hits, most of which appear to be UFO stories. To my knowledge, no UFOs have attended council meetings, so I’m guessing this is just Google trying to be as helpful as it can.
In talking to a number of people around town, most were far more familiar with the current situations in Egypt and Libya than what happened at the most recent city council meeting. Some were aware of the FMC expansion and tax abatement, a couple knew about the zoning requests that were discussed, but in spite of the articles that have run in the Empire Tribune this week, more than half had very little information about decisions happening right here at home that will affect their lives.
Most of you probably noticed that one of my stated platform goals on the front page of this site is “communicating with citizens on a regular basis to keep everyone informed of council actions.” In keeping with Thomas Jefferson’s words in the header, I feel that informed citizens make responsible decisions. I’d like to be able to post every single thing that happens in this town and how the decisions of current and former councils affect those events, but there’s no way one man could keep up with it all.
To that end, I’m starting off this blog by issuing a challenge to everyone, including myself. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and others offer free blogs that are easy to set up and to use. If you don’t have a blog already, set one up and get the feel of it. If you already have a blog about your kids or your pets, create a couple of new categories or tags for it and start giving your thoughts on local events and local politics too. Set aside at least 15 minutes a week to give your view of something that has happened, is happening, or will happen in Stephenville. If your club is having a bake sale or just needs more members, blog about it and tag it “Stephenville events.” If you have an opinion on something the city has done, share your thoughts and tag it “Stephenville politics.” Send me a link either in the comments of this post, or by email to and I’ll set up a section of links to local bloggers’ posts.
If you need help getting a blog set up or using post categories or tags, post your questions in the comments to this post. The internet is a powerful tool for information and opinions; let’s make sure we’re sharing the information that has the most impact on our lives.

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