Politics in the Age of Social Media

In 2015 I ran for the first time in my life for political office – and I won.

I am a computer scientist with a PhD and MS in computer science. I attributed my success then and in two more elections, in part, to judicious use of social media. Over the past three elections and my four years on the Raleigh City Council, I have experimented with social media not only as a way to conduct a political campaign but also as a way to engage with citizens. The results are both good and bad.

The principle social media that I have experimented with are Facebook, Twitter, and email. There isn’t much nuance to Twitter. There are tweets, re-tweets, and replies to tweets but not much else. Within Facebook there are Facebook pages and Facebook groups. Most people don’t think of email as social media. But email was critical to my success.

In 2015 my campaign wasn’t taken too seriously. I was running against a well-established veteran who had been on City Council for about 18 years. He was well connected locally and well financed. Local candidates typically raise $30,000 or more – a sum of money that was daunting to me. To level the playing field I turned to Facebook and email.

Leading up to the 2015 campaign had been a well publicized fight against a rezoning for a strip mall near my neighborhood. I was heavily involved in that fight. I often spoke publicly to large groups of people. Public speaking was something I began in high school and continued with in college including one year on the college debate team. I was comfortable with preparing and delivering speeches and presentations. Darwinian selection chose me as one of the leaders in the rezoning battle.

After two years we won that rezoning battle. But we were sorely disappointed in our representation on City Council. A few dozen of us who worked together on that issue talked about running someone in the next election. People asked me to be that candidate and with my wife’s blessing, I accepted.

Building on notoriety with the rezoning case, I was able to build a Facebook group with membership growing quickly to more than 500. Between the Facebook group and email, we had a reliable mechanism to reach more than 10,000 people. The reach was exponential as people shared posts and forwarded emails.

The Facebook group consisted of supporters and like-minded individuals. Plus, others discounted my candidacy, weren’t paying attention, and pretty much left us alone. Through efficient communications we raised money and signed up volunteers. We learned how to design and purchase yard signs and as soon as possible deployed more than a thousand of them throughout the community. The yard signs immediately increased my name recognition.

Dozens of volunteers went door-to-door to talk with voters and distribute campaign literature. We supplemented our use of social media with old-fashioned hand shaking and meeting face-to-face with people. I personally, talked with hundreds – perhaps as many as a few thousand – voters myself over the course of ten weeks. On election day volunteers worked the polls handing out literature and asking for votes.

In the end, I won the election by about 250 votes. We leveled the playing field and our use of social media was a tremendous help and asset.

After the election it was time to serve on Council. I very much wanted to stay engaged with people. Following the success of the election, it was natural to continue to use Facebook as a principle means of communicating with people. For that purpose I created a Facebook group.

At first the Facebook group worked great. Various issues came up and people discussed them calmly and respectfully. However, in time I noted a change. Certain individuals started to dominate the discussions. Unfortunately, Facebook groups have few ineffective mechanisms for moderating group discussions. People can post comments of any length and can comment as often as they wish. When a few people dominate the discussion with frequent, lengthy, and aggressive comments, there is a tendency to inhibit discussions from others.

Unfortunately, there haven’t been many alternatives to Facebook. Twitter is even worse. Although tweets are kept short, there is no way to moderate tweets. Between re-tweets and replies, it can be nearly impossible to follow a discussion. And, again, certain threads can become dominated by a few actors – behavior known as trolling.

The ease of dominating discussions in Twitter or Facebook is the greatest weakness of both platforms. It is easy for those opposed to a position to comment repeatedly and aggressively. Doing so has a chilling effect on others. Many times people have approached me in person to say that they follow me on Facebook but never comment for fear of being attacked or swamped by the comments of others.

Thus, going into my third term in office, I have decided to move away from Twitter and Facebook. What is really needed is a medium that uses something like Roberts Rules of Order to guide and moderate discussions. In the simplest scenario, each person gets to comment once and, after doing so, relinquishes the floor to others. That way, each person gets to comment equally with no one person dominating the platform.

To move in that direction, I have turned my website into a blog (which you are reading now). For now, I am posting articles with commenting turned off. I plan to experiment with features for moderating commenting as just described. It is my hope that doing so will lead to better quality discussions that involve more people and elicit a greater range of opinions and ideas.

For now, you can express your opinions about my blog posts by emailing me at david.cox@raleighnc.gov. Depending on the volume I might or might not be able to reply. But rest assured, your emails will be read. I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

David

Staying True to My Commitments

The N&O’s Ned Barnett writes, “Council member David Cox survived the push for change, a push largely triggered by a split in the council he helped create.”

This one sentence begs a lot of questions.

Who pushed for the change?
Who split with whom on Council?
How did I trigger the split?

For anyone paying attention, the answers are obvious. Nancy and Ron McFarlane pushed for the change. The split on Council was caused by Nancy’s split with nearly everyone on Council. That split was exacerbated by Ron’s physical and verbal assault of Kay Crowder, a direct result of the McFarlane’s preoccupation of their importance to the city.

As for me, I simply got along with the majority on Council. Being friends with and working with Russ, Kay, Stef, and Dickie to find solutions to scooters, ADUs, short term rentals, and a host of other issues was my crime.

The voters of District B understood my commitments and my ability to work well with others on Council for their interests. On election day, I won 14 out of 18 precincts. For the four precincts that I lost, I lost them by a total of 34 votes.

But then, these election day results do not include early voting which I won by nearly 60%. It is quite possible that after early voting is tabulated by precinct, that I will have won all 18 precincts.

Read more here:

https://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/article236242728.html

Election Ramifications

Election Ramifications…

Thank you again for re-electing me to represent Raleigh City Council, District B. I really am honored for your trust in me.

I should be elated for this victory. Instead am the exact opposite. I find the loss of Russ Stephenson, Kay Crowder, and Stef Mendell and the elevation of Mary-Ann Baldwin as Mayor and the election of a pro-development Council devastating.

Here is some of what I anticipate will happen.

Funding and resources for our Citizens Advisory Councils will be eliminated effectively ending CACs as a vehicle for citizens engagement.

Our sign ordinance will be gutted to allow large screen advertising downtown and throughout the city.

Falls of Neuse as well as several neighborhood streets throughout North Raleigh will be green lighted to be widened to six lanes.

There will be more development like the Sheetz at Falls of Neuse and Wakefield Pines where the trees are stripped out. The next to go will be Raven Ridge and Falls of Neuse near the Annie Wilkerson Nature Preserve.

Our fire and police will continue to be understaffed, underfunded, and under appreciated.

The quarry will move ahead at Umstead State Park and the City of Raleigh will forever be excluded from decisions regarding the RDU Airport.

As grateful as I am to have been re-elected, I fully realize that I will now be but one person on Council and powerless to affect decisions.

I am sorry for being so blunt about this situation. But I am not going to shy away now from communicating with you and being honest about how I see things happening.

David Cox

Raleigh City Council, District B

Letter to the Editor from Stef Mendell

Anticipating that the N&O will not publish my LTE, I am sharing here:

Dear Mr. Barnett,

Your editorial on 10/16 praises the new council for getting off to a peaceful start. I wish you had been more outspoken about what you consider appropriate behavior during the recent Raleigh City Council elections.

While your paper did publish one article about the negative mailers sent out by several candidates and/or their PAC supporters, that article mostly repeated the outrageous lies; it didn’t actually fact-check the claims made in those mailers. I’ll spare you the trouble of tracking down Pat Stith by providing facts to refute those lies.

I seriously doubt that you will publish this rebuttal because the local media is so heavily influenced by the Meeker/McFarlane connection, but I’d also like to ask you to explain the paper’s endorsement of Brittany Bryan in District D.

Based on your other endorsements, it was very curious that you didn’t endorse Saige Martin/Saige Ortiz in D. Could that be because you had questions about Mr. Martin’s/Mr. Ortiz’s ability to tell the truth about issues such as his voting record and his background? Why didn’t you investigate those issues and/or explain your concerns about him when you explained your endorsements? As a person seeking public office, Mr. Martin/Mr. Ortiz should not have ignored and blocked people on social media who tried to follow up on his claims.

Again, let me help you with what should have been investigated:

  • He claims that the reason he didn’t vote in the last two municipal elections was because his absentee ballot requests were lost – both times – despite the Wake County Board of Elections having no record of those requests.
  • He is registered to vote as “White – not Hispanic or not Latino” but started referring to himself as both Saige Martin and Saige Ortiz and refused to respond to inquiries about his identity.
  • He claims to have “grown up homeless” and promoted that narrative as qualifying him to understand the concerns of our most marginalized residents. Yet it appears that he was adopted into a middle class or upper middle class home at a very young age (four years old or perhaps younger).
  • He claims to have worked at the UN in connection the Paris Climate accords, but refuses to provide more details.

And speaking of concerns for marginalized people, it’s quite ironic that the Triangle Apartment Association recently touted its endorsed candidates that largely swept the Raleigh Council elections. They did that in an email that boasted of their sponsorship by Loebsack & Brownlee, PLLC — a “full service eviction service.” I’m sure Raleigh’s marginalized residents are reassured to hear of that connection.

#1 – The Tale of the Sidewalk

Myth:

My opponent says he decided to run against me because I opposed a sidewalk.

Truth:

  • The sidewalk is being built.
  • My involvement has led to lower costs and more trees saved.
  • I voted against the sidewalk initially because 80% of the on-street residents were opposed.
  • City policy dictated that we listen to them.
  • Area residents wanted a sidewalk and asked me to reconsider.
  • I held a neighborhood meeting and agreed to move forward with the sidewalk.
  • We revised City policy to include input from surrounding neighbors in the future.
  • While I heard from, responded to, and met with many residents who had concerns, I never once heard from my opponent about the sidewalk.

#2 – The Tale of the Rooftop Restaurant

Myth:

My opponent claims that I was responsible for the delays in the opening of Scott Crawford’s Jolie Restaurant.

Truth:

  • As a neighboring property owner, I attended the Board of Adjustment hearing.
  • I sought and received, guidance from the City Attorney that this was appropriate.
  • I spoke at the hearing to reinforce city staff concerns about the need to shield neighbors from rooftop dining noise.
  • No additional requirements were placed on Mr. Crawford as a result of my actions.
  • Crawford’s hearing was postponed for one month because he neglected to send legal counsel to the original hearing.
  • Any delays in the opening of the restaurant are Mr. Crawford’s responsibility.

#3 – The City of Raleigh’s Fiscal Condition

Myth:

My opponent claims that the City of Raleigh is in financial trouble.

Truth:

  • The City of Raleigh is not in financial trouble.
  • The City of Raleigh continues to maintain a AAA Bond Rating.
  • We are in great shape financially, and we always will be, because we are required by law to have a balanced budget.

#4 – The Infrastructure is crumbling

Myth:

My opponent claims that the infrastructure in the City of Raleigh is crumbling.

Truth:

  • The City of Raleigh is not crumbling.
  • In July 2019, our public utilities department received an “Excellence in Management Platinum Recognition” from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies for our “commitment to sustainable, successful programs that exemplify the attributes of an effectively managed utility.”
  • In 2019, Raleigh received national recognition for having four times FEWER sewer overflows than the national average.
  • The smaller rate increase we approved in 2019 (1.6% instead of 3.2%) had no effect on the utilities maintenance budget which was funded at over 160%.

#5 – The council is dysfunctional

Myth:

My opponent claims that Council is dysfunctional and “can’t agree” on issues.

Truth:

  • Of the many resolutions considered at all of the council meetings from January to June 2019:
  • 93% were approved unanimously
  • another 5% were approved by a split vote, and
  • 2% were not approved.
  • This Council passed resolutions on ADUs and on Short-term rentals (Air BnB) when previous councils had failed to reach consensus on those items for four or five years.
  • This Council passed the budget, with no tax increase, unanimously.
  • This Council passed the Dix Master Plan unanimously.

Statement on Airport Authority

I oppose the RDU Airport Authority’s deal to provide a land-lease to remove rock and stone from the 105 acre Odd Fellows tract at the airport. I oppose this deal for several reasons.

Unlike a lease, a land-lease allows the removal of land resulting in an enormous quarry that will ultimately be hundreds of feet deep adjacent to Umstead State Park. The land is currently forested meaning that building the quarry will require the removal of thousands of trees. In addition to Umstead Park, Crabtree Creek and the East Coast Greenway are literally within feet away. The impacts will be huge, undesirable, and they will be permanent.

Added to this deal has been a recent attempt by the Airport Authority to also weaken the Neuse Buffer rules that protect our water supply. The weakening of the buffer rules would affect not only the buffers near the Crabtree Creek but also throughout the Neuse River basin.

It is my opinion that the Airport Authority is overstepping its authority in its pursuit of the quarry deal and the weakening of the Neuse Buffer rules. The Airport Authority was established to run an airport. Far reaching decisions regarding land-leases and rules affecting the region’s water quality should be left to elected local governments. They are not and should not be the purview of an appointed body such as the Airport Authority.

I support challenging the Airport Authority’s decision to enter into the quarry agreement. We can challenge that decision either by joining a law suit brought by the Umstead Coalition or we can initiate a separate lawsuit. As one of the four owners of the property, I believe we have standing and legitimate claims to pursue such a lawsuit. I am ready to vote in favor of taking such action.

Finally, it is really regrettable that we have to reach this point. The issue of funding the airport could have been discussed. The Airport Authority expects to earn $24 million from the quarry deal over the next 30 to 40 years with much of that money earned many years into the future and without guarantees. At the end of that time area citizens – our children and grandchildren – will be left with an enormous hole in the ground that could cost far more than $24 million in the long run to manage.

We could find alternative funding – both private and public sources. Indeed, the Conservation Fund – a national environmental organization – has offered $6.4 million up front. The four local governments could each contribute $150,000 a year to make up the difference – a very modest sum given the economic importance of the airport and given the importance of Umstead State Park, Crabtree Creek, the East Coast Greenway, our water supply, and environment.

By finding alternative funding we can ensure the success of the airport and the protection of our environment and a better future for our children and future generations.

My Life as a Renter

Today 53% of residents in Raleigh live in multifamily housing. Going forward we need to ensure that our processes within City government and City Council include everyone, including renters. Renters are no different than anyone else. They want good homes, good schools, green spaces, trees, parks, sidewalks, restaurants, and places to shop. In short, they want good neighborhoods as much as anyone.

Citizen engagement means all citizens. And I am committed to ensuring that happens.

I am the oldest of my siblings. When I was born my parents lived in a small apartment on Oneida Avenue in my hometown. With another mouth to feed, my parents moved to another less expensive apartment.

We lived in a duplex in the downstairs apartment. My parents were middle class, blue collar workers. My dad was a telephone installer and my mom worked in an office. We were lucky enough in those days that my mom was able to stay at home for a time when I was young. My sister and I walked one block to our elementary school. Everyday we got an hour to walk home for lunch. Some of my fondest memories are having lunch on school days with my mom in our little apartment.

Our duplex was on a corner lot in a residential neighborhood. Architecturally, our home looked very much like a single family house. But if you look closely at the above picture, you will see two doors. One entered the downstairs apartment and the other opened to a staircase to the second floor apartment.

Our street was a mix of single family and multifamily homes. Across the street on the opposite corner was a larger building with two businesses on the first floor and two apartments on the second floor. Next to it was another duplex – a side-by-side. But looking up the street, there were single family homes.

We lived in our duplex until I was 15 years old. By then our family had grown to six. We needed a bigger place and by then my parents were financially able to buy their own house – a three bedroom, one bath house just a few blocks away.

Three years later, I moved out of the house and entered college and dorm life. After college I moved to Rochester, NY and my first place was a studio apartment in a three story building that was part of a larger apartment complex.

When the rent went up I moved into another apartment above a doctor and dentist office in a large, converted house. Four of us lived there and shared a kitchen, bathroom, and living room but we each had our own bedroom.

A few years later I married and my wife and I moved into our first apartment together – again the upstairs of a duplex in a residential neighborhood a few blocks from my in-laws house. Like me, my wife grew up in a residential neighborhood that was and is a mix of single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and small apartment buildings.

For the next several years my wife and I lived in various apartments. Eventually, we were financially in a position to afford our first house – a small three bedroom, one bath house, just three blocks from our first apartment.

Altogether, I lived more than 25 years of my first 30 years in apartments.

Today 53% of residents in Raleigh live in multifamily housing. Going forward we need to ensure that our processes within City government and City Council include everyone, including renters. Renters are no different than anyone else. They want good homes, good schools, green spaces, trees, parks, sidewalks, restaurants, and places to shop. In short, they want good neighborhoods as much as anyone.

Citizen engagement means all citizens. And I am committed to ensuring that happens.

Pavement Markings

Numerous citizens have noted the difficulty in seeing the markings on area roads especially at night and when it rains. Here is a report issued from City staff on this issue:

Background/Current Practices

Pavement markings are installed on roads to help delineate lanes, channelization, right-of-way controls, pedestrian crossways, and other scenarios. Markings are typically comprised of a material called thermoplastic. This material is very durable and has imbedded reflective beads to increase visibility. Thermoplastic markings typically last 7-10 years in high wear areas but can last much longer if subjected to minimal traffic. Special reflective paint can also be used, however as its life span is only a year, this paint is rarely used for permanent installations. Pavement markings are generally installed on higher volume roads and are less frequently provided on residential streets. In Raleigh’s corporate limits, roads generally fall into one of three categories: private roads, City-maintained roads, and roads falling on the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) State Highway System. Pavement markings are primarily present on NCDOT State Highway System roads, since these are typically multi-lane facilities and act as thoroughfares.

Pavement marking maintenance has historically been an interim measure to sustain the markings and delineations between roadway resurfacing projects. This practice has become problematic as NCDOT (like the City) is dealing with funding constraints which have decreased the frequency at which roads are resurfaced. The State does have operational funds for pavement markings; however, the amount is not substantial compared to the growing need of long-term maintenance. The City has a municipal agreement with NCDOT which allows City forces to assist with maintenance on NCDOT roads; this agreement has a pre- set reimbursement rate. Each year some City funding is allocated for contractual services for pavement marking maintenance work. This contracting work is supplemented with in-house forces. Over the past three fiscal years, equipment has been procured to help increase the output of pavement markings installed by in-house forces. Some of this equipment includes special vats that keeps heated thermoplastic ready for installation and a motorized installation machine that is more conducive to the replacement of longer sections of double yellow or skip lines.

Challenges and Initiatives

At this time, NCDOT does not appear to have plans to increase their rate of resurfacing roads. This situation – combined with the added growth of new infrastructure (new roads) – will result in the continued deterioration of pavement markings. If the quality of pavement markings are to be kept at the same level or improve, the City may need to play a larger role. This can be accomplished in two ways: increase the amount of pavement marking work contracted to others or increase the pavement marking output of in-house staff. Unfortunately increasing the amount of contracted work does not seem to be an option. Over the past four years, pavement marking contracts have required numerous advertisements to get a response from even a single bidder. The abundance of work in the area has resulted in a shortage of pavement marking contractors and/or has made contractors more selective about the profitability of the work they pursue.

The second option is for city crews to perform more maintenance work. In addition to the procurement of additional equipment, as noted, staff has evaluated options to obtain a thermoplastic installation truck. These trucks are rather expensive (approximately $700,000); however, they are set up to install a large amount of pavement markings relatively quickly and efficiently. Many larger cities in North Carolina (including Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham and Winston Salem) have these types of trucks. The truck would require two new additional staff members and a crash attenuator (needed for higher speed roads) in order to fully realize any new increased capacity for these installations. Constricted budgets have prevented staff from procuring this equipment to date.

NCDOT is ultimately responsible for maintenance of the pavement markings on their roads, which comprise most of the thoroughfares in Raleigh. As maintenance levels have decreased, motorists continue to experience fading pavement markings. Staff is aware of this issue and have taken some steps to better prepare internal staff with equipment to help increase our pavement marking output. Staff will also discuss this situation with NCDOT to investigate other potential options to help improve conditions for our roadway users.

Celebrating Liberty and Freedom

Hello Everyone,

Happy Fourth of July!

Here is a picture of a mug that belonged to my great, great grandfather Marcus Manuel Jeffords. Marcus’ father was born in 1813 and was named Liberty Jefferds. In 1815 Liberty’s younger brother was born and was named Freedom.

Naming one’s sons Liberty and Freedom was not uncommon after the American Revolution and highlights the importance the Country placed on these values and the liberty and freedom from Great Britain gained at great sacrifice.

Once secured, liberty and freedom brought us the Constitution, and our unique form of self-governance. American self-governance is based on the social compact. The earliest form of social compact in America is the Mayflower Compact.

Of the 102 who travelled on the Mayflower, only 41 were true Pilgrims. The remainder were merchants, hired hands, and indentured servants. The male members of this diverse group signed the Mayflower Compact whereby they agreed that they would collectively create laws to govern the colony and that once enacted, they would all obey those laws. Here is the exact language to which they agreed and which remained in effect until the late 1600’s when the colony was incorporated into the larger Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The signatories pledged to “covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.’

There has long been tension between individual liberty and freedom and the need for collective governance and laws to which “we promise all due submission and obedience”. We see this play out regularly at the local level through zoning laws. Few things are more personal than one’s property. Some (and they often refer to themselves as libertarians) believe that they should be able to do whatever they wish with their property regardless what others in the community including their adjacent neighbors think.

Some argue that zoning laws should simply not exist because they represent a diminishment of liberty and freedom. But that argument misses the point of liberty and freedom.

This Fourth of July we once again celebrate the Liberty and Freedom that have allowed us to self-govern. Our laws have come from a long history of self-government. And all our laws (including zoning laws), derived from liberty and freedom, are the promises we make with each other with “all due submission and obedience.”

Setting the Record Straight…

Recently, the following was published by Jeffrey C. Billman as a statement of fact. It isn’t fact and I want to set the record straight.

‘(Eric) Braun, no longer on the planning commission, sometimes criticizes Cox on Twitter. Cox has forwarded a few of those tweets—nothing threatening, just links to INDY and News & Observer stories with commentary slamming Cox’s leadership—to the city attorney.’ – Jeffrey C. Billman

I’m a computer scientist. I have a MS and PhD in Computer Science. Thus, when I first ran for Raleigh City Council, it made sense to me to utilize social media to connect with people. One of the first things I did was to create a Facebook group to connect with people in District B which I am privileged to represent today on Council.

Over time the Facebook group has grown to more than 700 members. Although I had created the group and was proud of its success, I decided two years ago to turn the group over to others. I removed myself completely from any administration or oversight and today the group is run independently by a diverse group of individuals.

Most people who start or run a large Facebook group often establish guidelines for posts and comments. They do so to keep the group focused on its area of interest and to ensure that people are treated with respect. No name calling is probably on the most common of these types of guidelines but there are many others such as no advertising, selling, or promoting.

When people fail to follow these guidelines, Facebook has provided various tools to administrators including deleting offending posts or comments. Such a situation happened a few months ago in the District B group.

As sometimes happens when one’s comment is deleted, a person will cry foul and doing so is perfectly fine. Complaints can be directed to those running the group for resolution. Unfortunately, a few months ago, complaints were directed at me even though I have had no oversight of the group for two years.

One person to complain was former Planning Commission Chair, Eric Braun. On May 18th he emailed me complaining that a Facebook comment of another person, Travis Bailey, had been deleted:

‘Feel free to continually remove yourself from my Twitter list.  I see that you and your supporters are also trying to stifle debate by removing comments of Travis Bailey from FB.  Avoiding people you disagree with is not leadership. It shows you are weak and unable to defend your positions publicly in the face of informed and honest citizen engagement’

I want to be clear that I did not remove comments of Travis Bailey from FB. I was not involved in whatever transpired. Nor did I remove myself from any of Mr. Braun’s lists.

Because in my role as a City Council Member I take such accusations seriously, I replied to Mr. Braun and copied the City Attorney:

‘I have no control over your Twitter account and I did not remove comments of Travis Bailey from FB. You are free to tweet or post whatever you want but keep it truthful. For the record, I am copying the City Attorney and I am including the five tweets you posted 22 hours ago.’

My goal in copying the City Attorney was to ensure that she had complete information about Mr. Braun’s accusations. Mr. Braun is a well educated, well trained, and experienced attorney. In contrast, I am not an attorney. Whenever questions or comments concerning legal matters arise, I provide them to the City Attorney for her evaluation. I have done this for legal questions and comments on a wide range of issues. Every Councilor seeks expert advice. There is nothing unusual in doing so.

I have a long history of welcoming debate and engaging with people on the issues. I have tried hard to be respectful. There was and is nothing disrespectful about involving the City Attorney in these debates. Doing so helps to clarify points of law and helps to set the record straight.

David Cox