September 22, 2007

Will There Be Anyone Left To Vote?

THE GOOD NEWS about this attempt at an Atwater Village Neighborhood Council election is the record-qualifying candidate turnout: 34 candidates for 14 seats. (PDF here.) Signs for the Oct. 6 election, in English and Spanish, are unavoidable. And we have a candidate forum, Oct. 4, 6:00pm at Glenfeliz Elementary School Auditorium (3810 Hollypark).

The bad news is the other forum, AVNC's online forum. Official word is it was "closed by the Independent Election Administrator because of 2 (extremely) inappropriate postings in the Election category."

Sound familiar? This Administrator is getting good at shutting things down. Like the last election. In its entirety. In February Walt Sweeney trashed $12,000 of election prep over grammar corrections on the AVNC Web site.

This time, grammar it ain't. It's the AV Enquirer, who comments sometimes on my Newbie blog, and may have penned the "inappropriate" posts at AVNC.

I read those posts. (Didn't save them, sorry. Google cached an old July post.) They seemed no less appropriate than some of the other claptrap on the forum. (Starbucks didn't exactly shutter the site over anti-corporate coffee comments.)

But if the posts were libelous or revealed personal information, let's say, why wouldn't the Administrator just ask for them to be deleted? Why shut down the entire forum?

The forum is as much about nannies and pizza places and crime than this election anyway.


katiesmurphy said...

I chaired the outreach committee when it designed the forum. We specifically included a provision -- that has been posted at the bottom of the page since the beginning -- that informed people that inappropriate comments would be deleted.

My only guess of what happened is that someone unfamiliar with that AVNC procedure (that would have solved the problem) must have complained to the election person, who also must not have known.

It's a real shame that the useful forums - the entire thing -- was shut down unnecessarily. I read what the Enquirer wrote and think it definitely should have been deleted, but that's what should have happened instead of shutting it down.

katiesmurphy said...

i reread my post and forgot one thing -- the person who should get credit for the idea and execution of the forums in Jory Felice, who did a wonderful job. the forums have been a really valuable service to Atwater above and beyond AVNC.

AVEnquirer said...

katiesmurphy, would have a copy of what's posted at the bottom of the AVNC Forum page(s). If so, could you post it here? It would be appreciated. Thanks.

Jory Felice said...

Thanks for the mention Katie.

avenquirer, here is the stated Online Forum policy:

"Forum Policy: You must be logged in as a member to post comments on the forum. Please keep your comments on-topic. AVNC reserves the right to delete comments that are derogatory, discriminatory, rude, libelous, slanderous or offensive. Be polite."

I have sometimes had to remove a comment when it violated this policy but that's happened less than a dozen times in the several years this website has been online.

Emily said...

I am REALLY sad about the forums being taken down. Is there NO hope that we can simply remove the harsh words and continue the other extremely useful forums?

May I simply say that those forums have made living in Atwater even more gratifying, not simply because I can find out about a new business opening up, or bash starbucks, but I can post and read about local events (not just elections) and let other know about crimes in the area.

Such a shame. Who do I have to beg to bring this forum back?

katiesmurphy said...

there was supposed to be an AVNC meeting Thurs and I heard this was on the agenda. The meeting seems to have been cancelled. Whenever it happens, my suggestion would be anyone who wants the forum to be revived should weigh in -- in person if possible. You can also email the board at and/or leave a comment on the AVNC Hotline at 323-634-AVNC. I haven't been on the board for over a year so don't know what else they'd suggest, but in the past that's what I would have suggested (and hopefully still a good idea).

Emily said...

Wow. Good written? F-ing hilarious!