Sunday, March 29, 2009

Number 775... and the End

So, this is it. After over three years and 775 posts (counting this one), Save Fitchburg is taking it's final bow. There will be no other posts after this one.


If you know me, you know that Save Fitchburg hasn't exactly been my favorite thing for a while. It was frustrating. It was repetitive. It was repetitively frustrating. I never got into it to be called a liar. I never did it for people to think I was trying to be something I wasn't: A guy who cared for and was interested in the city.

Things took a new level when the Pride happened. That was never part of the "business plan." But it was good in that it made Save Fitchburg better. Covering Fitchburg full-time gave me better insight into what was going on, and how to write about what was going on. Leaving the Pride has left a bit more on the outside, which is fine. But it made Save Fitchburg a bit less.

It's no secret that I'm now working in state government (for the record, it wasn't a "political hire." No one from Fitchburg, except for my wife and brother, knew I was even interested in the job until I had given my notice to the folks at the Pride. See, this is kind of stuff I don't want to deal with anymore). Unfortunately, that leads some people to believe that I have a state-run agenda. While that's not the case, there's a saying about even the appearance of a conflict being a conflict.

I enjoyed spouting off about Fitchburg politics. Sometimes I was right, sometimes I was wrong, but I was always thinking about what might be best for the city. I did not enjoy the animosity and the people who didn't like what I wrote and just assumed I had an agenda. See the start of this paragraph for the outline of my "agenda."

After three-plus years, I have no need and no use for the headache anymore. No need to read comments and have to literally get up and walk away because they were so infuriating. No need to have people assume I'm up to something devious. This is a long time coming, and it's certainly time.

That said, Fitchburg isn't "saved." Yelling stupidly about the trash fee isn't the way to save it though. As for me, I'm getting out of blogging and politics, and I'm going to try something different.

If you're on Facebook, please join the group "Fitchburg Now." If you're on Twitter, please follow "fitchburgnow." The goal isn't politics and government. It's following the community. If you're an elected official or a community leader, and you have an event coming up, please use the "Fitchburg Now" group page at Facebook or Twitter through "fitchburgnow" followers to let people know. Afterward, if you have photos or video of a Fitchburg event, please put it on the "Fitchburg Now" group page at Facebook. There's plenty of room for some good online community networking in Fitchburg. I hope "Fitchburg Now" at Facebook and Twitter can help be a part of that.

I'm excited about this new little experiment. I'm not sure it will work with any efficiency, but I'm optimistic that it might. I think there's some untapped potential for the city in Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Just try to figure this out together, shall we?

So, this is it. The end. Save Fitchburg is all done. It was, certainly more often than not, a pleasure. I loved writing about the good stuff that happened, and I loved good, honest debate about this issues. I loved writing about the Celtics last year (I know you didn't Svens, and I apologize). But the negatives were truly very painful, and at this point the benefits aren't outweighing the negatives. If you're a Save Fitchburg lover, I'm sorry about that. But let's do something else.

So, let's keep it going. Let everyone (or at least a bunch of people) know what you're up to, and share your successes. Go to Facebook and get into the Fitchburg Now group. Get on Twitter, and follow fitchburgnow. If you want to reach out to me, use this e-mail address:

Thanks for reading, thanks for writing, and thanks for caring. While I'm putting to bed something that was pretty significant and important to me, I'm glad to moving on to something else. Join, me won't you, in supporting Fitchburg Now.