March 19, 1995 in City

Man Says Citizens Can Byte City Hall Computer Bulletin Board Posts Comments On City Council

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Matthew Wood says Spokane citizens don’t need more information from their City Council. They need better ways to tell the council what’s on the public’s mind.

Wood set aside part of his Spokane computer bulletin board for citizens to talk about city matters and to send messages to City Council members.

“I think we already get enough of the council’s ideas and thoughts. What I’d rather have is them listening to citizens’ opinions better,” said Wood.

Wood just started City Hall Link, a discussion area on his Spokane bulletin board, called The Mulligan.

A former golf pro turned computer consultant, Wood said he wants City Hall Link to become a forum for debate and a conduit for citizen opinion.

Wood formed his idea after attending a recent council meeting. He realized council meetings don’t allow enough people a good chance to express opinions. He also realized Council member Chris Anderson was ready to take part in City Hall Link as an unofficial commentator.

People can dial The Mulligan, read messages on topics ranging from the police department to the proposed Pacific Science Center, then leave comments.

Anderson has agreed to read messages and add comments.

Wood said he hopes other council members will realize Anderson is using the bulletin board and will want to add their two cents’ worth.

Wood, 37, began The Mulligan three years ago. After working as a golf pro in Spokane and Harrington, he had a heart attack. He then switched his interest to computers.

People can dial City Hall Link through 489-9233 or 487-8426. He’s also providing City Hall Link to other area bulletin boards, such as Phoenix and Harvest Northwest.

He’s not sure what the council will think of City Hall Link. Some messages being posted may be by people who are misinformed, angry or accusatory.

“But what the council can do is, if the message starts rambling, you hit the delete button,” Wood suggested.


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