Thursday, April 03, 2008

"Chat" About The Budget With Senator Dean Skelos

Skelos To Hold Virtual Town Hall Meeting To Discuss State Budget With Constituents

We constantly complain about the great divide between elected officials and the people they serve, particularly on the communications front, where interaction is often reduced to a mere sound byte, or worse yet, a photo op in the local paper.

It may be a small step toward conquering the gap between message and recipient, but kudos to NYS Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos for taking time during this most busy legislative session to chat online with the public about New York's pending budget.

Those on the Senator's e-mail list received the following message from Mr. Skelos:

Dear Friend,

This week, the State Legislature will complete the state budget process.

On Friday, April 4th, I will be conducting my first virtual town hall meeting to provide you with an opportunity to ask me questions about the budget.

Through this virtual town hall meeting, you can submit questions to me through a chat-room style format and I will answer as many as possible in real-time.

The virtual town hall meeting will be held Friday, April 4th from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

To participate, please click here or visit and click on the scrolling banner at the top of the homepage.

I look forward to "chatting" with you on Friday.

Senator Dean Skelos

Okay. 3 PM to 4 PM on a Friday may not be the best time for a town hall meeting, virtual or otherwise, but give Senator Skelos and his hard-working staff the praise they deserve for, however briefly, looking to include the taxpayer in the budget-adoption process.

Communication, too, is a process, and while the hour-long virtual town hall may be perceived by some as but a small step, it is, in terms of government's willingness to interact with the electorate, a quantum leap in the right direction.

Now, it is up to us, as the taxed and the represented, to enter the chat room and join in the discussion.

Senator Skelos has given the public a portal. It is time for us, as concerned and involved citizens, to take advantage of this opportunity to chat with the Senator, and to have a say in how we are governed.

We thank you, Senator Dean Skelos!

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