So … a new blog huh? Indeed the Office of Environmental Sustainability will be operating this LiveGreenHoward Blog to talk about environmental issues throughout Howard County and the work to create a culture of sustainability throughout. My name is Joshua Feldmark – I am the Director of this Office and one of five writers for this blog (I’ll introduce the others in a moment).
We did not start this blog lightly, and as a fairly regular blog reader (mostly national but local as well) I realized pretty quickly that blogs in general provide a fair amount of challenges but a government run blog has many more. Nobody wants to read a blog filled with information you can get in a press release, newsletter or newspaper article. Most government blogs seem to fall into that category and we are going to work hard to instead provide broader context on the issues we are dealing with and talk much more about the why’s and less about the who what when where. For those of you blog nerds out there, think Orszag as head of CBO.
Additionally, and this may just be a personal preference, think blog as story telling medium. Besides being a great way to give context, to explain the why, I just plain like having stories told to me and believe that true of others. Therefore, the hope is that many of our posts will relay information via the story.
Each of the bloggers have specific subject areas we work on which will obviously guide our posting but, as should be expected, we also have broad interests and knowledge-bases not necessarily confined by our workload. Besides me, the regular bloggers are:
Lindsay DeMarzo – Lindsay splits her time between the Office of Environmental Sustainability and Planning and Zoning in the Resource Conservation Division. Lindsay is Co-Chair of GreenFest, one of the authors of both the Water Resource Element and the County Green Neighborhoods checklist/guidance document, and the coordinator of our green HOA program.
Laura Miller – Laura splits her time between the Office of Environmental Sustainability and Recreation and Parks in the Natural Resource Division. She is primarily the tree program expert and is responsible for new programs like the 2,010 trees and well established programs like Stream ReLeaf. She also has a background in solid waste having worked for Howard County’s recycling division and the Northeast Waste Authority.
Elissa Reineck – Elissa is new to Howard County Government and is serving as a Volunteer Coordinator. Elissa came in strong with the creation of the 20-minute clean-up program and assisting local communities with clean-ups. She too has a waste management background having worked for Baltimore County recycling.
Chris Russell – Chris is Howard County’s new Energy Manager. Chris has a background in energy management by way of economics (as opposed to engineering) and is charged with reducing the County’s energy usage and overall carbon footprint as well as guiding the community as a whole to do the same.
We will also occasionally have some guest bloggers both folks within the government and folks within the community so stay tuned for that. Finally, a word on commenting: We will, very soon, have moderated comments allowed on this site. Comments, who can make them and what they have to provide before they make them, is a topic of lengthy discussions throughout the blogosphere, especially of late in the local blogs. After much deliberation we are leaning towards allowing anonymous posting of comments but all comments will be moderated and approved. The aim is not to stifle honest free-flowing discussion and most of the government run blogs I have/do read do not allow comments at all. This was a compromise that we felt comfortable with.
I hope you enjoy, and of course you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts or suggestions.