I believe some of the most creative folk in the world live in Oak Cliff, and the invitation I received today to join the "Where’s Neumann?" Facebook page simply reinforces my belief. Instead of grousing and groaning about not being able to get in touch with their city councilman or his lack of appearances at neighborhood events, they simply created a Facebook page to prove their point. It’s both a more lighthearted and more effective approach.
Who is behind this? According to Robert Wilonsky’s post on the Observer’s Unfair Park, it’s a collaborative effort among residents of Neumann’s council district 3. Wilonsky was able to reach Neumann and attempted to ask him about the Facebook page, and his write-up of the ensuing conversation is quite amusing. I would put a call into Neumann, but I’ve done that more than a few times, and only one call or email has ever received a response — more than a month after it was made.
I’m not one of those reporters who becomes livid over politicians who don’t return my calls. In my opinion, they can ignore me if they want, as long as they realize it is sometimes my job to badger them, and to report their lack of response when it doesn’t come. Most politicians, in my experience, maintain open lnes of communication with both the press and their constituents simply because they want to keep their jobs. Neumann, as one commenter noted on the Observer blog, has been in office for a few years now and may no longer feel the need to attend every event and return every phone call. Obviously at least a few of his constituents aren’t happy with what they perceive as him being "off the radar", but if most residents of district 3 are happy with Neumann’s job performance, then even a creative Facebook page won’t affect him.