Suspiciously Elusive Public Information
Geeking out and getting excited to learn more about the NYC council came to an annoyingly slow halt. Like when a car starts puttering, the RPMs go way up despite zero change in velocity and you know at any moment you might find yourself stuck. Well, that is a metaphor for what I experienced just moments ago. Actually, a simile, because I used the word “like”.
I was beginning to write about one of the 51 council members. After writing the name and party affiliation at the top of the page, I decided a district number would be pertinent. Council member and democrat, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, represents district 17. Unfortunately the number17 in this instance doesn't mean much to me and I'm sure the same goes for the average citizen. I tried searching for a map identifying where each of the districts lie. I found several, but with conflicting numbers.
You know that proverb that I'm about butcher, “The more you know the more you realize you don't know”...something like that. That definitely applies here. I was overloaded with information during my quest for a simple map or list defining each district. None of that information was helpful, however, and it only led me to acquire even more useless information.
Searching the NYC council website, I came across all sorts of phone numbers. I called those numbers and received more numbers, extensions, department transfers and at the end of each phone call I was either told that they had nothing of the sort, I would need to call someone else or that they were not authorized to give me that information. What!? Not authorized!? It's not like I'm asking for a council member's personal information (although it is my opinion that a political figure should be completely public).
Yeah, I know about the page that lets you look up council member in your area. Finding out where each district lies would be so much easier though, if they were all on one printable page. Also, if there are several districts in each of the Burroughs, what is the use in having them if we don't even know what those number apply to. I mean, this is no big deal but come on, I find it really hard to believe there is no sheet or form out there that the public can use to quickly identify each district.
My fourth phone call was to the actual council member's office and I was told I could find “all that information on mycity.org”. I went there and wonder if she gave me the correct address.
Thanks guys, really helpful. It goes to show that there are many lazy, ignorant, people working for the government and I wonder if it has something if not everything to do with adopting a bureaucratic system and running the state/country as if it were just a business. This search is not over. I will have a concise district map or a sheet to identify where in each Borrough they lie, very soon. To be continued...
The Secular Humorist