A Whole New World
Hello Edson! Assuming you don’t know who I am, or why I have I have a blog on the Town website, my name is Daniel Lukac, and I’m going to be interning with the Town for the next year. Being a relative newbie to the municipal world, the internship program is ideal for me. Essentially, I will be taking part in a year long program of immersion-based learning on issues and practices in local governance. During this time, I will work in every department/area and at all levels of Edson’s administration, talking with managers, doing physical labour, drafting policies, and generally taking on a seemingly random (and yet interrelated) assortment of tasks.
As I plunge headfirst and flailing into the multifaceted world of local government, I hope to drag you, the audience, with me. That is what this blog is for (it’s not purely a narcissistic way to make “talking about myself” seem like a legitimate work activity); I want to guide you through the twists and turns of my experience, and navigate you through the real and conceptual corridors of the Town’s administrative apparatus. If you feel uncertain about what your municipal government does, how it works, what powers it has, and how you can influence it, this blog will serve as a crash course on these and other matters: unstructured, haphazard, sporadic, and fraught with my own personal biases, maybe, but instructive nonetheless (I hope!). If you are already an expert in local governance, maybe my “fresh,” unjaded eyes will spot some detail or dynamic that you have missed or simply disregarded. Maybe you’ll get some new insight into how government processes are actually carried out by real people at the office and throughout the community that will nuance or clarify your assessment. At the very least, I will try to invite comments, questions, and multilateral discussion in all of my posts (and if I neglect to do so, there’s nothing preventing you from commenting anyways), so you can take the opportunity to educate me on how you think municipal government works, to criticize everything I’ve said (if you are so inclined), and generally just to provide any feedback you’d like.
If none of the above apply to you, perhaps you will take this blog as a personal interest piece. While I am not quite so self-admiring to expect that either my personality or my philosophical/political ramblings will captivate and compel audiences on their own, I will be putting such personal details into my blog nonetheless. My personality will be injected into the writing process not only through my selection of and commentary on specific topics, but also through integration of (relevant) details and observations about (my) life, the universe, and everything. I might also try to throw in the occasional musical or literary reference, if I’m feeling clever enough for allusions. Given the personal nature of the blog, a disclaimer seems warranted here; in my capacity as a blogger, I am not speaking on behalf of the Town, and the views I express do not necessarily reflect the overall views of administration.
I should also note that, due to a mix of procrastination and hectic scheduling, this introductory blog entry is being written a month after I commenced my employment with the Town. If some of the immediately forthcoming entries lack the cutting-edge, spur-of-the-moment feel that I intend the blog to have, this can be explained by the fact that they are written retroactively, and may be awkward compilations of notes, half-finished paragraphs, and vaguely-recalled conversations.
Finally, fatigued reader, I will try to keep my entries short and to the point, (though in my more inspired moments I may find this difficult), so don’t become too exasperated by the length and relative lack of substance in this first entry; both of these deficiencies will be corrected in the future.
P.S. As a discussion question, if you could work in any capacity in local government (i.e. as a Director, staff member, etc.), in any department, what would you choose? What kinds of projects would you like to work on? On a closely related note, what services, amenities, features, etc. do you think Edson is lacking or underperforming on, and what kinds of improvements do you envision?
My answer to the first question is that I am especially interested in planning and place design. As such, I would really like to work on projects oriented towards improving the aesthetic of the Town (in my ideal world, greenery would be a natural and constant part of the urban landscape), as well as creating/diversifying the spaces available to residents; where do Edsonites “hang out,” go for walks, read books, party, play, etc., and how can these be created, expanded, or improved?
If I haven’t piqued your interest yet, stay tuned; more blog posts are on the horizon.