, Derry, New Hampshire


January 17, 2013

Editorial: Text messaging has little place in town government


Anyone who has ever communicated by email or text message knows how easily such messages can be misinterpreted. Not being able to see the person communicating strips the message of the nuances of face-to-face communication.

The people’s business must be conducted in the full view of the public. That means the public must have the opportunity to face those they have elected to office and witness their deliberations over matters involving the governance of the community.

The 19th century German chancellor Otto von Bismarck supposedly said that no one should witness the making of laws or sausages. The quote is likely apocryphal. But in any case, what might have been right for the German Empire has no place in the modern United States.

Here, we want to be darn sure that what goes into our sausages is reasonably healthy and nutritious. And we certainly want our laws and regulations made in full public view so that we can be sure the process of making them was upright and honest.

We suggest that Londonderry officials who want to participate in the operation of the people’s government at least show up for public meetings. Leave the text messaging for less important matters.

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