I just had an incident that builds on what I was discussing in a previous post “Open Government, Transparency and Civic Engagement (or lack of) on the City of Richfield’s Website” While this did not occur on the city’s web site but rather on the City’s Facebook page, it does bring up some very significant issues with Richfield’s refusel to develop open and transparent citizen engagement.

When I went to the City’s Facebook page I noticed a post about the video for January 24th  special work session being posted on the city’s web site and asked why they couldn’t keep the city council meetings up indefinitely like our neighboring suburbs. When I looked back to my astonishment I discovered that while my post was responded to (only partly) they had however deleted my original post. Now don’t get me wrong, it is the City’s site and they can set the guidelines. Even I would agree that Facebook is a not a great tool for doing meaningful engagement. However, deleting a rather benign comment because it asks a somewhat uncomfortable question about the city’s services is a bit over the top. More appropriately would have been to direct the discussion to a city blog where appropriate official could engage them a in public discussion or maybe even offer a guest post with an alternative view. However, unlike several other of Richfield’s neighbors the city chooses not to even offer a blog.

Richfield’s reactions so far have also shown the wrong way to respond to negative comments. Instead of trying to engage in honest conversations with its citizens on a democratic platform, the City of Richfield replied angrily by deleting a post.

Below are screen shots of the City of Richfield’s Facebook site. Showing each comment and response and subsequent deletion. It does not include my original post which was much more polite than my subsequent posts. I did not have the foresight to make a screen shot since I really did not expect my comment do get deleted. However, after it was deleted I pretty much expected any thing else I posted to get deleted as well so I figured I would at least give them something worthy to delete -but not until I took a screen shot.


After my screen shots showing my engagement on Richfield’s facebook page, I have included screen shots of my postings on Edina’s Citizen Engagement Blog where I asked a question that I could only assume would get deleted anywhere on Richfield’s social media sites. Interestingly, even though Edina may shirk it’s responsibility when it comes to affordable workforce housing it does a good job on engaging its citizens AND as evedenced by their interactions with me, a non-citizen.

Not only did they post my comments, they sought me out on the Richfield SOS site to make sure I comply with their guidelines (I did not include my last name in my comment)so they could post my initial first comment (I sheepishly admit to not having read the guidelines before I posted) .

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Edina’s Reactions