Why can’t residents easily email Milton Town Meeting Members?
In a recent (and popular!) post, a Milton Neighbor asked:
Members of the Milton Neighbors Facebook group responded with comments and puzzlement.
“Might anyone know if there is a reason why there isn’t an easy way to contact TMMs [Town Meeting Members]? It seems intuitive that there should be, but although their addresses are publicly disclosed information, email addresses are not. So if a town resident wanted to convey their views on a local issue to their TMMs, they would effectively have to use postal mail. This seems somewhat antiquated and I’m wondering if there is a reasoning behind it that I’m missing??”
Check out the responses from Milton Neighbors and let us know what you think!
“I just asked Sue Galvin this the other day. Basically it’s because of nasty emails. It’s easier to write an email that’s mean then it is to hand write it out and take the time to mail it. She is really trying to protect those that serve and as someone who gets a fair amount of angry personal emails, I appreciate that. We have the ability to contact them just through the mail. Which isn’t a bad idea to stop and write and take the time to send something instead of dashing off a nasty email before breakfast.”
“I agree that there should be an easier way to contact elected officials. It could be as simple as a dedicated email address that is active during their time as an elected TMM. Having the only options be to write a letter snail mail or look up their landline and make a call profoundly inhibits the amount of feedback/input from their precinct constituents. Definitely antiquated and absolutely cumbersome. IMO potential nastiness is not a good reason to restrict access to our elected officials. FYI I had this conversation with SG years ago when we were trying to make TMM email contact available to our public. Years back The League of Women Voters produced a pamphlet with TMM names, addresses and phone numbers and it was readily available, but has long since ceased to be published. After 25 or so years on TM I can attest to the fact that I did hear from people fairly regularly when that was in circulation, but these days, almost nothing unless it is a letter regarding a major issue. Not good.”
“I’d agree with the notion of sharing email addresses if politics in Milton wasn’t so toxic.”
“I think there should be a one strike rule. If you send an extremely nasty email, your IP is blocked from contacting local public officials. You can only get it unblocked through an arduous and apologetic process.”
“Actually, thinking this over – with the mention of precinct captains, that would certainly be one way to address it if the majority of TMMs are concerned about privacy and nastiness. 12 precinct captains, who have contact information for all of the members in their precincts and can keep everyone apprised of constituent contact regarding upcoming questions. ”
“Very good point… Many organizations have email addresses for positions or departments and this would be a logical approach in this case. Perhaps if each precinct had an email address in a format something like this (where XX is the precinct number): [email protected] Maybe having an address that doesn’t contain an individual’s name would promote a less personal tone and temper the nastiness of the nasty emails.”
“I understand our Town Clerk’s concern. If any Town Meeting Member is comfortable with their email address being published, it would be good to have a location. I am a long time Town Meeting Member from Precinct 8… I will delete or move to spam any offensive email, but welcome input from residents.”
“Need a new form of government with more accountability.”
“Agree completely. A few years ago I wanted to contact my town meeting members with my stance on an important issue and had to print out like 20 letters and mail or hand deliver them. need to lower the activation energy to have your voice heard.”
“Why not give all current TMs a town of Milton email address ? What do other towns do ?
Do our elected State officials list email addresses?
It is of extreme importance to have ready access to our town elected representatives as don t they represent us ?”
“Does anyone know how other towns deal with this?”
“I belong to a professional group and have been assigned an email address through them ; first initial, last name @ etc. No one I interact with has my personal email address.”
“How would TMM’s verify whether or not an email comes from a Milton resident from their precinct?”
“… thank you so much for posing this question! I have wondered why there aren’t townofmilton.org email addresses for TMMs.”
“Great question. I haven’t looked into it, but does anyone know why we don’t have open town meeting, where all registered voters can vote, vs. representative town meeting?”
….or add your comments and suggestions! ✅