sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I called county commissioner Steve Arnold this afternoon to get his thoughts on the county's proposed scenic corridor ordinance. He was polite, addressing me by name, but said he was overwhelmed with work and just couldn't talk right now. Besides, he added, "It wouldn't break my heart if you just called the others. I'm not a commissioner who likes to be quoted in the paper all the time."

Fair enough, and I hung up. Funny, I get the feeling Arnold doesn't care much for the local media. Which is too bad, because I think he could more effectively get his message out. By contrast, Billy Yow's a little too media friendly.

Anyway, I guess a sharper reporter would've reminded Arnold he's a public official and if he didn't want reporters calling, he shouldn't have run for office. But that's my fundamental personal flaw: I'm not into forced conversation. If you don't want to talk to me, well, I reckon I don't want to talk to you. It's something I'm working on.

In fairness, reporters are like telemarketers, except instead of trying to sell you something, we're asking broad questions, the answers to which may or may not be quoted accurately. Arnold's method with me was the method I use with telemarketers: polite but curt. Yeah, they've got a job to do, but I don't have the time.

But I'd like to get 10 minutes with Arnold and ask him a few questions of substance. What does he think is the most pressing economic issue facing Guilford County? How can the county commissioners regain control of the budgeting process? How exactly can the schools run more efficiently on less money?


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