civil discourse … on facebook?

The tax repeal issue has ignited citizen interest as few other issues in Columbia.

Interesting, too, is that so many folks are chiming in on a local facebook site on the topic. Equally interesting is the number of facebook commenters is significantly less than the number of people who come to borough council meetings.


Perhaps this is just one reason the borough hasn’t moved forward to have its own facebook page. Fear of civil discourse?

Fear not; plenty of other municipalities use facebook to communicate with its citizens.

government guide to facebook




  1. I would like Marrissa go on record with the name or names of those borough employees that said they will throw away the petition. Taxpayers could then get a petition demanding the termination of those employees.

    • If a government employee has made statements like that it would almost certainly be a violation of citizens’ First Amendment right: “The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

      That decision would be foolhardy, at best; at worst, many national attorney firms and the American Civil Liberties Union would be eager to step into the fray.

      That kind of attention is not the kind of attention that the Borough needs nor wants, we’re sure.

  2. Don’t forget that some borough employees do not live in Columbia and therefore are not paying taxes here. They don’t give a crap what we have to pay, simply does not affect them.

  3. I see where a “Johnny come lately” jumped into a meeting recently and has become the town know it all. Actually, I asked at the August council meeting about why the borough isn’t video recording the meetings. Mrs. Denlinger replied that they are considering it. That was nearly five months ago. My comment can be found in the minutes section from that meeting. Yes, video recording is different than live streaming and obviously live streaming would be better. At this time the only true record of citizen comments is on the Spy and Columbia News, Views, and Reviews. The meeting minutes give no information regarding answers that council members give to citizen comments. LNP rarely includes any citizen comments in their municipal briefs. Your sure as hell not getting it in the Merchandiser. Transparency please.

  4. We have been hinting at; stating; questioning; suggesting and showing examples of video recording & livestreaming for several years. So many communities do it and have done it for years. It is not rocket science.

    If a community really wants to be progressive; transparent and a desirable place to live and do business, an open communication practice and procedure is paramount.

    Perhaps Mr. Come Lately has an insider approach to the borough’s leadership cabal and will catch their fancy. If so, we’re elated. Whatever legal and transparent steps needed to get transparency for citizens are welcomed.

    Because Columbia Spy and Columbia news, views & reviews do not always report what some in the cabal perceive as “positive news” does not mean that either or both are opposed to ideas that foster timely, open and transparent communications. In fact we welcome it.

    I know that our goal is to chronicle the events that happen in the borough given the meager, volunteer resources we have to do this. We welcome transparency … and those who believe in it … from all corners.

  5. In regards to the establishment of a loan fund by the borough, l believe what isn’t being said is citizens don’t trust the council to administer these funds either fairly or intelligently. Setting aside the fairness issue, there is plenty of reason to question councils financial decisions. Some examples are the Hotel Columbia, the property next to Perfect Settings, 300K to hang Christmas lights, the trolly and millions to build a park that doesn’t connect to the river trail. A very poor record indeed.

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