On February 1st 2012 aShortChronicle published the first column of a blog intended to test an idea.
"Can one person through a blog very few people would likely read make a difference in local government?"
Five years and just shy of 650 posts later, I have the answer. That answer is "yes, but..."
"Yes" it's definitely possible, "but" it's a ton of work.
From helping stop the bad idea of 4-year staggered terms at Davidson Town Hall in the early days to writing well over 100 posts on various aspects of the endless dirty deeds surrounding the I77 HOT Lanes project, I think the blog has had an impact in how people see local government and in what they pay attention to as important.
Does it mean officials always now see things the right way or do a good job of communicating what they are doing? No, not by a long shot. Does it mean they have gotten better and have a harder time getting away with things? Yes. Yes, it does.
Helping stop some bad ideas and seeing improvement in some areas are things I am proud to have been a part of over these years. It's also nice to see readership going up. Somewhat ironically, the last post I published before taking a break in January turned out to be the most popular post ever. It was the first post about Davidson's plans to rezone it's rural areas. That post generated thousands of page views, receiving the the most hits in a single day of any over the past five years. It's now also solidly the most read post in the blog's history.
All those things taken together make it worth the effort.
However, time, or more correctly the lack thereof, has recently become a huge factor in my ability to keep doing this. The recent month off was due to a lack of time, nothing more.
So, going forward we'll have to see where things land. It's an election year locally, so you know I can't stay away from that. It's also guaranteed to have more than its share of craziness in Raleigh and Washington to provide more fodder. We will just have to see how much time I have.
If you see things going dark at aShortChronicle for a couple weeks at a time this year, don't think the towel has been thrown in. It hasn't.
It just means life has gotten busy.
Thanks to all the readers who have gone on this journey with me so far. It's been a fun five years!