Let's just say I didn't really want to bring this up, but rather avoid discussing it altogether. However, due to several e-mails and phone calls from readers asking to learn more, and to get my perspective on this, I'm inclined to opine about it and get the air cleared.
At last night's Committee of the Whole meeting, as you've read in the previous post, Citizens for Community Development (CCD) submitted a proposal to the city to, in essence, merge and create a public-private partnership to encourage and drive new economic development proposals and growth for the City of Franklin. Being the President of CCD, more intrigue and interest was being placed on my views and background more than anyone else, and rightfully so. As the President of any organization or business, you in essence almost become the face of that organization or business. If aldermen were interested in CCD's proposal, they have the right to ask CCD questions that can be to the point.
During the discussion, which was recorded on video by Bryan Maersch of the Franklin blog Wag the Dog, CCP Taylor made mention that I, through Franklin Today, have made or could be making remarks that could, in essence, be of concern if the city is teaming up with CCD underneath me as President. CCP Taylor made the suggestion of perhaps having editorial oversight prior to some pieces being posted.
I responded in-kind and, as you can hear for yourself on Maersch's video, stated that if the city worked/merged with CCD on this proposal and this website was causing too much concern or unnecessary grief in terms of bringing in developers, retailers, etc. to Franklin, that I would go as far as shutting down this website. I hope my readers know me well enough by now to understand that my personal passion for helping our community move forward easily could trump writing this blog. If the blog became something that didn't serve a justice to the city and its residents, it should be shut down. I told CCP Taylor that what he had to say was fair and I fully understood and appreciated his remarks.
To my surprise, that response prompted Alderman Olson to criticize CCP Taylor as basically telling me to suppress my 1st Amendment rights, to which CCP Taylor denied this, and rightfully so. I did, in a nutshell, read "in-between the lines" with CCP Taylor's remarks to me, which wasn't appropriate on my part, and I have already personally apologized to CCP Taylor for doing so. I know for a fact that CCP Taylor enjoys reading this website, has frequently kept tabs on stories and opinions posted on this website, and even has pulled me aside after a meeting or two to remark (positively) on the content.
For the record, I do not fear my 1st Amendment rights will be trampled in any way, shape or form. I believe it was simply CCP Taylor giving a friendly reminder that people are reading and watching, and some might take things a bit too seriously and offensively than others. CCP Taylor did not at all recommend Franklin Today being shut down, noting how the site is basically the new cord that connects the community together, and how that would be a shame if it were to be eliminated.
I personally would just like it put to rest and would appreciate Franklin Today not being the "headline grab" for some with other agendas to derail or criticize members of the Common Council. CCD, as an organization with a Board of Directors and Advisory Board, wants to work in a cooperative manner with the City of Franklin. I happen to be President of the organization and the blogger for this website, and I certainly do my best to keep my organizational duties and this website as separate as possible. I have already began to take note, on my own accord, to refrain from being what some could label as too "personal" or "editorializing" on this site. If that bothers some, I do apologize. All I want to do is do my personal best to help move Franklin Forward.