Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt will join Columbian.com readers for a live Web chat today from 1-2 p.m. Anyone is welcome to watch the action at www.columbian.com/chat (bring your popcorn, in the words of Columbian commenter Artimus). Or login with your Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or MySpace account and submit questions or comments for the Mayor.
After Columbian.com readers engaged NoTolls.com financier David Madore in a Q&A debate in the comments section of Editor Lou Brancaccio's column a few weeks ago, you asked to have the same open dialogue with Mayor Leavitt.
"Oh...wouldn't it be great if Mayor Tim Leavitt got on the Columbian for a one - on - one with everyone as well??? Heck, nobody would have to shout out "GAVEL DOWN, MAYOR!!!" I know he posted before he was elected. Mayor Leavitt, how about it???" - goldenoldie.
And so we approached Mayor Leavitt about participating in a live chat. He responded, via email, with two conditions for participation.
One of the first goals in his first year as mayor was to start quarterly town halls; Leavitt answers questions at one session held in April.
- "The bloggers must identify themselves with real names. I lend no credibility or legitimacy to bloggers who don't have the integrity to identify themselves by who they really are."
- "I reserve the right to answer/ not answer any question posed."
We agreed, but asked that he respond with "no comment" if he chooses not to answer a question.
Here's how it will work:
Readers who login can send questions and comments from the chat window. I, as Web Editor, will moderate the discussion, choosing which questions will go live.
I'll post all of the questions that readers submit unless they aren't submitted by a real person with a real name, include swear words, are totally off topic or otherwise appear to be crazy. I'll use my best judgment. I won't shy away from posting controversial questions or comments, but only if they're respectful. The mission is to facilitate a productive open dialogue between the mayor and our readers.
Hope to see you there!
~Libby Tucker, Web Editor