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Hi, rookie Moderator here!!
I accepted this position with great reluctance and only after a couple of months of friendly persuasion by Smeagolsfree and Mark. I only took on the task because I have been posting here since 2006 and appreciate that does largely strive to be a political free zone. I just want to read about the development of Nashville and don't want it to become like Facebook currently is (BTW, you can hide comments from certain individuals as I have done myself in the past) . Having said that, I don't want to be heavy-handed and start deleting and banning people as was apparently the tendencies of some of the original national moderators a decade or so ago.
I know the political world affects the city's development in a large way, such as the BRT proposal from a few years ago, the Mayor's current difficulties and the general relationship between City and State and the Nation. We can't ignore the elephant in the room, but we can have a discussion on the merits of a proposal without rancor or bitterness.
However, a few points..
I think we can broach some of the issues without getting personal and by that I mean attacking others or their political and/or religious beliefs. For instance, saying that 'Mugwumps are a bunch of spineless morons' is what I would consider a personal attack if I or anyone else was a Mugwump regardless of how 'friendly and jokingly' they may claim the context of the post to be. Stick to facts and numbers and cite the sources. Avoid general pejorative statements and stick to the facts. Don't attack by link. If you don't think you can say something directly about a subject because it may be inflammatory, then don't publish a link that serves the same purpose. And above all, if postings upset you, just remember that you are getting upset with pixels on a computer screen. Unless you personally know the poster, it seems rather silly to get upset. That is my guiding rule as I journey through the amazing world wide web and try to keep my cool. If I feel the apolitical integrity of the site is threatened with bitter political discourse, I will consult with the other mods and determine what corrective action is appropriate. I hope we can literally moderate the discussion with gentle reminders and keep the mission of Urban Planet to serve as a source of breaking news with erudite fact-based commentary on specific projects. A lot of people in high places refer to this site frequently and obviously appreciate its value as a source of information and perspective on the aesthetics, social impact and as an assessment of needs for the city going into the future. I personally know this as I have been quoted directly in the TENNESSEAN and would like to think that that particular perspective on the feasibility of a large project eventually ended up on the desk of someone in Seattle.
So let's keep talking about food, beer, parks, pedestrians, traffic, pedal taverns, durable materials, street access, international flights, suburban sprawl, infill, tourism, Lake Palmer, Google Fiber, Leed Certification, building heights, MDHA, museums, railroads, concert halls, stadiums, hotels, cranes, musical building names, FAA regulations, HQ relocation's and so on and so on and leave the hardcore political food fights to other sites.
Also, a gentle reminder of the rules for this web site...from the appropriately named NEO.