Sunday, July 23, 2006

Barbara Lifton

Saturday, July 22, I received Barbara Lifton's direct mail piece announcing "town meetings to provide legislative update." Sadly, four out of five of the meetings listed took place on July 19 and 20. The is still one upcoming one in Lansing August 1.

Compounding the problem of the late mailing, is the fact that it announced a July 19 meeting in Danby. On Monday, the 17th, Lifton put out a recorded phone call explaining that the meeting listed for July 19 at 4:00 in Danby was an error, and the meeting would actually take place in Dryden.

Let me point out that town meetings are not a good forum for "legislative update." One-way communication like that can be covered in print and is pretty much a waste of face time for everyone involved. In this case, thanks to the publicity errors, only five people in addition to Lifton and her assistant, were involved. For an hour and fifteen minutes (!) Lifton read budget figures from index cards, including the factoids listed in the mailing and at the website above. At 5:15, after 40% of the audience (read: two people) had left, Barbara set aside her index cards and said, "Let me tell you about a couple of big issues." She sat down and spoke from the heart for a few minutes about her work on voting machine selection and about proposed legislation to enhance Longview's cooperative program with Ithaca College's gerontology department.

Finally, there were a few minutes left for Brian June to express some concerns of the School Board and for me to mention issues under consideration by the Town Board. Lifton said she's interested in meeting with Brian and communicating via email with me.


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