I fully agree with Heidi
Renee J Patterson
Montgomery Town Clerk/Treasurer
----- Original Message -----
From: "Heidi Racht" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: MuniNet History & Purpose
> Hello All,
> Someone once said that the best letters are those that are left unsent,
> and, having said this, I am writing and about to send a letter
> Here are a couple of thoughts from someone who has been on the Muninet
> only since March Town Meeting.
> 1. Discussion about procedures and policies, from pets in office to
> recording, have been interesting and informative. Thanks to all who have
> taken the time to respond to various concerns and queries. I have truly
> benefited from your experience and expertise.
> 2. Rants are tiresome, especially those that are dashed off and not
> edited. These have included a variety of topics, but for me, it is all
> about tone. It's true that we all get frustrated sometimes about things
> for which we have no control, and I know I jumped in last week with a
> comment about Colorado and vital records. I will try to resist the urge
> the future.
> 3. Politics. I don't want to know your politics and I don't want to
> mine with you. I want to interact with you as a Town Clerk and deal with
> issues that are important to us - how we interact and serve both our
> and the greater community among us. If I wanted politics in this
> season, I would get television, and I certainly don't want to see it
> Finally, to end on a more positive note, I am truly grateful for the
> information and the support - and the open forum that Muninet provides.
> Let's all keep our good communication going.
> Heidi Racht
> Hi All,
>> Your friendly MuniNet Listserv administrator here.
>> There has been some lively discussion on the list for the past few
>> I was tempted to step in but I always hesitate to interfere with
>> anything other than to take care of mechanical and administrative error
>> messages the computer system generates every day.
>> This is YOUR list and, I might add, one of the most successful
>> electronic discussion groups the state has ever had. At last count,
>> there are 299 individuals on the list and generally 10 to 15 messages
>> per day. The capacity to reach out and communicate with your fellow
>> municipal officials to get and to share information is an incredibly
>> powerful and useful tool, particularly in a rural state like Vermont.
>> have participated in many internet listserv discussions (generally
>> related to boating, of course) and have never found a group of
>> participants who have been as consistently civil, friendly, and
>> professional. All this with virtually no interference on my part. You
>> are all to be congratulated.
>> I thought it might be helpful to refresh everyone's memory on how this
>> list started. Steven Jeffrey of the VLCT and I were talking about the
>> possibility of setting up an electronic communication platform that
>> municipal officials could use to communicate easily, share information,
>> and help each other. I was on the faculty at UVM and the University
>> allowed any faculty member to set up a listserv on the UVM mainframe
>> without charge. I started the list in August 1998. The first four
>> subscribers who posted welcome messages were Steven Jeffrey, Chuck
>> Hafter, John Cushing, and Dencie Mitchell (feel free to check out the
>> archives and read their first messages).
>> We did talk about whether there should be separate lists for clerks,
>> town managers, listers, etc and decided the list would have the
>> potential for succeeding if we had only one list for all municipal
>> officials. We never did restrict discussion or get very specific about
>> rules as to who could sign on to the list. As of this morning there
>> 299 subscribers on the list. There are town clerks, listers, folks
>> VLCT, the Secretary of State's office (including the secretary
>> listers, tax officials, legislators, and more. Only once in 8 years
>> I had to deal with someone I thought shouldn't have been on the list.
>> It was a purely commercial activity who joined the list and then
>> posted an advertisement. Rather than take them off the list (which I
>> can do as the administrator) I wrote them an email and asked them to
>> take themselves off the list - which they immediately did. We did have
>> a spell of problems with virus messages contained in attachments so had
>> to restrict the list to prohibit attachments.
>> I no longer work for the University but they have graciously allowed us
>> to continue to have this list service at no cost and have allowed me to
>> continue to administer this list. They have been very helpful and
>> supportive over the years. John Ryder at UVM in particular has been
>> extremely generous with his support any time we have had any problems.
>> So, there it is. The list is extremely open. Anyone can join and see
>> the messages posted. Anyone can see who the members of the list are
>> time. The archives of EVERY message ever posted is available to the
>> public on the internet going back to the very first messages in 1998
>> (instructions for reviewing the membership and viewing the archives are
>> at the end of this email).
>> I would hope the members of the list would keep in mind that the
>> of the system was for municipal officials. Clearly the town clerks have
>> used this communication tool more than any other municipal officers but
>> the folks from VLCT have always been very helpful and willing to jump
>> whenever their expertise is needed. It is helpful for legislators to
>> read the posts and get a preview of issues which may be coming up and
>> helpful for the Secretary of Administration's office to check on the
>> pulse of what's going on around the state.
>> I know that the folks on this list are considerate, kind, friendly, and
>> very civic and community minded and will continue to carry on a
>> and civilized "conversation".
>> You can pat yourselves on the back for the great work you do both on
>> this list and in your communities. Thank you all.
>> Peter Brownell
>> Vermont Department of Education
>> 120 State Street
>> Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
>> 1. The archives of ALL messages posted to MuniNet since August 1998
>> be viewed at:
>> 2. To get a list of all the participants in the MuniNet list, send an
>> email to "[log in to unmask]" Leave the subject line blank and in
>> the body of the email include only the single line "review muninet"
>> computer will send you a list of all the folks who are on the list. It
>> generally takes only a few minutes.