City Communications Suck

First posted on March 30, 2018

This is an email thread I had with Mountain Home, Idaho, City Councilman Jimmy Schipani about outdated data on the city website.

Initial Email / 29 March 2018

On Mar 29, 2018, at 7:07 AM, Tim Bondy  wrote:

I would think that within three months of Paula Riggs retiring, she wouldn't still be listed as "staff" in the econ development portion of your website. I would also hope the city wouldn't allow a "Video tour coming soon" promise to remain on your website for 18 months with no link to that video (if there is an actual video).

I'm sure that type of information isn't important to many people but it appears as if the city cannot handle easy and routine communication and information dissemination. I'm sure there is a valid reason this outdated information remains on the city website but as a resident, it's hard to imagine what that could be.

Thanks for listening but I'm extremely busy and have to get going.


Tim Bondy


Reply From Councilman Schipani / 30 March 2018

On Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 2:47 PM, JAMES SCHIPANI wrote:

Hi Tim,
It's great to hear from you and I hope everything is going well! Thank you for the questions about our website. The company we currently use have not been very helpful to change items on our website. This has prompted us to switch companies. We are looking to have the new website up and running on April 23. I'm not a fan of having outdated information on our website. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.

Hope you have a great weekend!
Jimmy

Sent from my iPhone


My Response to the Councilman / 30 March 2018

From: Tim Bondy
Date: Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 8:02 PM
Subject: Re: Communications
To: JAMES SCHIPANI

Jimmy: I doing great and thanks for asking.

So let's just dive into some issues I have.

Apparently, the city is a huge fan of having outdated information on your website. So much so, the problem exists two years after I talked to Mayor Sykes about it. And while having a new contract and a brand new website coming soon, having old information for well over one year isn't acceptable in this digital age. Actually, Jimmy, that was a pretty weak response. As an elected decision maker, you accepted horrible customer service for the taxpayers of this city. I believe you understand that and it doesn't seem to bother you at all? At least you're not a fan?

My question to you, since you told me I should reach out to you is, why would you, three other city councilmen and a mayor accept years of unacceptable website maintenance and service? Please ask your fellow councilmen and the mayor to justify your collective inaction on this issue. 

And while I'm asking questions I might as well ask another. Here's the setup ... sometime around 12 pm on Friday, March 30, 2018, someone wrote a Facebook post stating "If you live between South 5th West and South Haskett someone has been throwing meat filled with RAZOR BLADES into back yards, to kill dogs! Keep an eye out." 
The poster assured us that the Mtn Home Police are on the case and yet, five hours later there isn't a mention of it on your not-updated website nor the city's Facebook feed.

This is just basic communication stuff the city doesn't bother with. Yep, I'll rub it in with this statement ... at least we'll have an opportunity to sit on wider sidewalks in the future to comfort us after our pets die from eating razor blades. Maybe it's about priorities? Heck, we have the mayor writing letters to the editor in the local newspaper trying to explain stuff to the citizens. If that isn't a wakeup call for leadership, including you, then I don't know what will wake you guys up. At the very least you should hang your head in utter shame. It's 2018, not 1918. And in the words of a local city councilman, "I'm not a fan." 

Thanks,


Tim Bondy


From the city website, we present a screen capture of the outdated info.

The city of Mountain Home is in decline.
Orange: Retired in Dec. 2017. Green: The promise of a city video tour since at least Oct. 2016. 


This is a promise that some company will create a series of videos for the city. This has been on the city website for at least 18 months. This is a service the taxpayers paid for ... a two year service contract. Ask your councilman if they got their moneys worth.

Last updated on March 31, 2018

Fwd: House Bill 658 Vote


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Representative Christy Zito <CZito@house.idaho.gov>
Date: Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 10:48 AM
Subject: Re: House Bill 658 Vote
To: Tim Bondy <tim.bondy@gmail.com>, Representative Megan Blanksma <MBlanksma@house.idaho.gov>


Dear Mr. Bondy,

 

There is a record of the progress of each piece of legislation that receives a bill number on the State of Idaho Legislative web site.  You may also track bills that are of importance to you.  This information would be available to you at any time you choose to access it. 

 

www.legislature.idaho.gov

 

There is a wealth of information to be found on that site.

 

Thank you for your time and interest.

 

Have a beautiful day,

 

Christy

 

Representative Christy Zito

District 23A

Owyhee, Elmore, & Twin Falls

 

From: Tim Bondy <tim.bondy@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 9:19 AM
To: Representative Christy Zito <CZito@house.idaho.gov>, Representative Megan Blanksma <MBlanksma@house.idaho.gov>
Subject: House Bill 658 Vote

 

Subject: House Bill 658 Vote

 

Dear Representative Megan Blanksma and Representative Christy Zito:

 

I understand the Agricultural Affairs Committee voted and possibly passed House Bill 658 (https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/billbookmark/?yr=2018&bn=H0658) on March 6, 2018.

 

I would like to obtain the official final vote on this bill. I am requesting Rep. Christy Zito and Rep. Blanksman provide this information. A digital copy of this information is preferred but I will provide my mailing address in case a digital copy proves too difficult. 

 

The information I would like should include the Representative's name and how they voted. I also request you provide me an approximate date this information will be sent to me if this information proves to be too difficult to provide within a 7 business day timeframe. 

 

The reason I am requesting both District 23 Representatives provide this information is simple. To the best of my recollection, previous requests for information and data have gone unanswered or ignored. Hopefully, having two Representatives working on the same request, I will get better results. 

 

Contact information:

 

Tim Bondy
1350 Amber Dr.
Mountain Home, ID 83647

 

Thanks,

 

Tim Bondy

 

Calendar Deadline Entry: Friday, March 16, 2018


House Bill 658 Vote

Date: March 7, 2018
Subject: House Bill 658 Vote

Dear Representative Megan Blanksma and Representative Christy Zito:

I understand the Agricultural Affairs Committee voted and possibly passed House Bill 658 (https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/billbookmark/?yr=2018&bn=H0658) on March 6, 2018.

I would like to obtain the official final vote on this bill. I am requesting Rep. Christy Zito and Rep. Blanksman provide this information. A digital copy of this information is preferred but I will provide my mailing address in case a digital copy proves too difficult. 

The information I would like should include the Representative's name and how they voted. I also request you provide me an approximate date this information will be sent to me if this information proves to be too difficult to provide within a 7 business day timeframe. 

The reason I am requesting both District 23 Representatives provide this information is simple. To the best of my recollection, previous requests for information and data have gone unanswered or ignored. Hopefully, having two Representatives working on the same request, I will get better results. 

Contact information:

Tim Bondy
1350 Amber Dr.
Mountain Home, ID 83647

Thanks,

Tim Bondy

Calendar Deadline Entry: Friday, March 16, 2018

Hike Up Peak 5915 - Near Camas Prairie

This December 12, 2017, hike was mainly an outing to escape the gloomy clouds and cold air of the Treasure Valley Inversion. 

Peak 5915 on Dec. 12, 2017 - still snowless even as of Dec, 18, 2017

The Snake River Valley in the western half of southern Idaho had been sitting under a strong low-level cold air dome with strong inversion above that cold air for about one week as we approached mid-December. The result of this weather phenomenon is a cloudy, foggy and gloomy valley atmosphere, while the mountains were sitting in above freezing temperatures and bluebird days. It's times like these that valley residents head to the mountains to warm up and find some sunny skies. I did.

This wasn't a strenuous hike and wasn't in a location that is particularly scenic but a hiker's got to take what a hiker is given. And a snow-free, 45℉ bluebird mid-December day in the mountains of Idaho was handed to me. I just needed to find that peak and a few hours of free time. I did.

A little planning or a lot of planning can go into a hike like this December 12, 2017, outing. This one took more planning than most. Most of the planning involved evaluating the short and long term weather forecast and researching land ownership in a location that wouldn't be too high and snowbound or too low and cloud-bound. And like the story of the three bears, this one location was "just right."

This is an upper air sounding from the Boise NWS. It shows a vertical cross-section of the atmosphere from the surface to about 50,000 feet for the day of the hike.


Why Do I Tell You This? The Hard Sell Is Why

If you are looking to get away from the city or the air base and just don't know where to go, I can research a trip for you. That research cost about $30 and you'll get digital maps for your adventure. I wanted to point out the lengths I go to research a hiking or a biking adventure. I also do research for rockhounding, fishing and sightseeing trips in southern Idaho also. 

You'd get a high resolution/geo-tagged pdf with your adventure route annotated right on the topo map.
Let me take most of the guesswork out of your adventures in the wilds of southern Idaho. My motto is "know before you go" and my Outdoor Concierge Service will do just that. It will also save you time. Most people use the "just heading for the mountains for a hike" method. Most times you'll end up on private property or a route that ends up in a less than ideal spot. Let me be your concierge.

The Hike Details

Date Of Hike: December 12, 2017
Name of Hike: Bennett Hills - Hike - Peak 5915 just off Highway 20
Name of KML/KMZ File: 12Dec2017-Bennett Hills- Hike-Peak 5915-Camas Prairie.kmz
Link To Photographs: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mcWKG1hibfSm4ytw1
Total Hike: 1.6 miles
Vertical Feet: +583 feet / -582 feet
Average Slope: +11.9% / -14.7%
Elevation Ranges: 5,416 feet / 5,915 feet (GPX file = max 5,896 feet)
Time On Trail: 1 hour 51 minutes
Facilities At Trailhead: None
Gear Used: New Balance hiking boots and Outdoor Product hiking pole
Land Ownership: 100% public Boise National Forest Service lands
Road Mileage from Boise, Idaho to Trailhead: 78 miles
Online Map of This Hiking / Biking / Adventure: It's available by contacting me, Tim Bondy through this website.

Outdoor Concierge Service

An online map of this hiking adventure is available by using the “Contact Me” form on this site or leaving me a comment on this story, stating your wishes.

If you would like more information about mountain biking, hiking, rockhounding, fishing or any type of adventures in the Bennett Hills (Danskin Mountains, along the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness or Bruneau Desert), I will be glad to discuss some outdoor options. Use the contact form on this site I'll get back to you.

In Decline Statement

If venturing to this area, please understand the local opinion is my hometown of Mountain Home, Idaho, is a city in decline. There are some businesses thriving, but not many. Your best options are to avoid the place completely and stock up on food, supplies, and gas elsewhere. #MountainHomeIdaho #CityInDecline


This story was originally published on December 19, 2017.

Thanks,





Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka, "enemy of the American People!"

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