Got an email from Eureka City Councilmember Jeff Leonard the other day announcing his participation in Open Humboldt Government that Jeff describes as “a new on-line forum designed to increase dialog between local elected officials and the community.” Jeff and a few other local officials are currently participating in this web site which allows office holders to pose issues and allow constituents to voice their opinions on each issue. Currently there are 2 Eureka City Council members, 3 Arcata council members and 2 from Trinidad. No one from Fortuna or County Supervisors are online as yet.
The service is being provided by a company called Peak Democracy. Heraldo over at the Humboldt Herald says they are based in Humboldt, but the whois record for eakdemocracy.com says the domain is owned by VoterHub, LLC based in Berkeley. So, not sure where he got that information.
According to the site, there is not cost to taxpayers for this service. Though participating elected officials pay $10 per month to cover the expenses of running the site. I assume Peak Democracy expects to have lots of officials from all over the country participating in order to make this pay.
It’s a simple concept and could be a valuable tool in gauging public opinion and forming policy. Certainly more efficient that sitting through hours worth of 3 minute rants at meetings.