Like most people, I check my email accounts at least a dozen times a day. For me, email is a fantastic way to deliver important messages to people at my convenience, especially because I am not good, not particularly good, at keeping up correspondences by phone. When it comes to keeping up with city officials and their staff, I think email is indispensable. Lately, however, all of my emails have been bounced back to my ‘inbox’. I thought it was a temporary problem, a glitch that would resolve itself. Not so. After this went on for a couple of weeks, I placed a call to my councilman’s office about it. The aide there confirmed that a pretty strict firewall had been set up to reject emails from virtually every widely used email server currently in use — including Yahoo! and AOL.
I really hope I’m wrong, but what that aide told me was not encouraging. It doesn’t even seem possible, at this point anyway, for certain constituents to get exceptions made for their email accounts.
Still, I really hope this measure is a temporary one, meant to give City Hall some breathing room to clear out junk until they can set up filters that can sort the nonsense from the essential constituent messages. It has to be: I cannot imagine having to use phones and faxes all the time to communicate with my councilman, ward liaison or any other city official. More importantly, I have a hard time believing that anyone from the outside world would be forced to do the same thing.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ll always like living in Newark, but they’re really testing my patience on this one.