Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Open Letter to Luke Ravenstahl -- use a Google Calendar

Dear Mayor Ravenstahl,

You got toasted today on Marty Griffin's KDKA radio show. Both Marty Griffin and Jon Delano made you look irresponsible. Today's goofy discussion came about because of a schedule issue.

Months and months ago (December 9, 2006) -- I gave you and others in city hall some specific advice. If you had followed my suggestions, you would have never been in such a predicament. See http://rauterkus.blogspot.com/2006/12/city-clerk-webmaster-for-city-of.html

Luke, you should keep a public calendar or two. You should insist that others, such as the city clerk, city council, authority boards, zoning board, ethics hearing board, and others keep city schedules accurate and up to date.

Google calendars are free. This suggestion would cost you nothing. It would not cost the city a dime. However, it would be a great aid to overall communications.

I have been keeping a "Google Calendar" called Pittsburgh City Hall for many months. I asked before, and I'll ask again, that you take up this policy.

If you want to schedule a meeting with me, I'll be happy to show you a framework to implement the schedules and use the utilities to be much more effective. Let me know, and then I'll put the meeting into MY PUBLIC Google Calendar. You can see and subscribe to my calendar by going to my blog and clicking on the calendar. It is located on the left column. Or, here is the URL: http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=mark.rauterkus%40gmail.com

Thanks, again, for the consideration.

Mark Rauterkus

412 298 3432

PS: Please come join with me on Friday in asking that the Pittsburgh Ethics Hearing Board code be adjusted so as to strike down the silly confidentiality clause and liability statements.


Mark Rauterkus said...

By the way, Mark DeSantis, Tony Oliva, and all the other candidates out on the trails should set up and maintain their own Google calendars too.

Anonymous said...

Mark, This is silly. No one is going to use Google Calendar for official city business.

Mark Rauterkus said...

I know none in Pittsburgh are using an open approach for their datebooks. But, they should.

Being open, being honest, and being prudent is the only way to go.

Luke isn't. Luke and the others are flinging FUD. They thrive upon fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).

If Luke has an invite -- it gets noted. It allows for comments. It allows for follow-up. It allows for transparency.

And, it is robust.

And, it hooks into other 'ical standards.'

To say nobody is using a calendar on the web is like saying none are using email too.

Jason said...


You are right that the idea of a city government using the Google calendar is silly - it is free.

Calendars for official city business must be proprietary and expensive (that is the only way to let a contract for it)

Regardless open calendars (however you want to deliver them) are useful communication tools.

Free and Fee based that could accomplish the same thing - accountability, I like people who show up where they say are going to be.