Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Which Councilmen are not reading their email?

The Tennessean filed a public records request for the email records of all 40 council members and

found that a lot of Council members are not reading their email.

I served in the council before the days of email so did not have the challenge of dealing with it. I remember, however, occasions when faced when a particularly hot issues, that my phone answering machine would quickly fill up with messages and that my phone would ring almost non-stop for hours.  With the ease with which one may send email, I  understand that it can be challenging to read them all and very difficult to respond to all. If I served in the Council today, I would probably not actually read every email. I would mostly likely look at the subject line and delete those of no particular interest to me and not from my own constituents.  Others I would likely skim. I would pay a lot more attention to those from my constituents than those from people living in other districts.

When a particularly hot issue, such as a vote on the fairgrounds or a proposed tax increase is before the Council, the Council can get hundreds of emails in a single day. Some members are better at handling email than others. Below is the list of Council members least likely to open an email and the percentage of emails unread by that councilman in the last six months. 
  • District 30 Councilman Jason Potts: 94 percent.
  • District 27 Davette Blalock: 86.7 percent.
  • District 21 Councilman Ed Kindall: 84.7 percent.
  • District 5 Councilman Scott Davis: 83.75 percent.
  • District 2 Councilman DeCosta Hastings: 83.5 percent.
Not all Councilman receive the same amount of email. Some in districts with lots of rezoning issues receive thousand, while others receive very few. Scott Davis, the fourth worst offender for not reading his emails, during the time period analyzed had over 6,554 emails.. He should have done better, but I can cut him a little slack. Jason Potts, the very worst offender for not reading his email, only had 50. There is no excuse.

To read The Tennessean story, follow this link.

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