Last summer, when John told me about his plans and vision for ScottsdaleTrails I was intrigued. I’d never met anyone with such interests. His passion for our city is palpable, and I couldn’t help but support his mission of connecting taxpayers with their city government.
My original intent was to set up this web site, teach John how to use it, and then utilize social media to spread the word.
A small, manageable project. Right.
I suddenly found myself attending city sponsored events, learning how our city government is structured, becoming skilled at identifying stealthy uses of the “Consent Agenda”, and even attending City Council meetings in the Kiva. [With my 9 year-old daughter in tow. She liked the dais, the stained glass ceiling art, and about the first 10 minutes of the 3 hour meeting. Everything else? Not so much.]
As we established this site, began creating content, and made plans for coverage on the upcoming elections, I discovered that I just couldn’t keep up.
John is a voracious reader, consuming data at a rapid pace, impressively storing it away to be accessed later, most likely while debating a complex issue that contains a lot of history. Many times, when visiting AZCentral.com I would feel sorry for a commenter who (like me) was somewhat new to the topic at hand, would share his view in the comments section, and then – wham-o! – John would reply, pulling out the big guns, enumerating specific examples to support his viewpoint, and zeroing in on the nuances of the issue. That’s not easy to do. Especially on a near-daily basis.
Staying apprised of the issues as one’s “hobby” – because let’s face it, there’s no financial gain in being a thorn in the side of elected officials and newspaper editors – takes a huge commitment of time, and requires a lot of focused energy.
So to make the kind of impact John does, you gotta have the love. And there’s no doubt that he has it.
Even better, he doesn’t expect everyone to have it.
But even knowing that, it was especially difficult to for me to tell John that I’m moving on to a new project, now that ScottsdaleTrails has taken off and is gaining momentum, building subscribers, attracting the attention it deserves.
Thank you so much, dear readers, for the feedback and comments you’ve provided since our launch last September. You helped boost my confidence, leading to this new path of mine.
But especially, thank you to John, the guy with the love for Scottsdale.
From all of us.