Way back in May, I blogged about how me and Gary Leitzell, the Mayor of Dayton, became best buds. And I realize that in all the excitement of making a new best friend, I forgot to follow up and tell everyone how it went. So, several months later, here goes.
By the way, if you have not already signed up for the Dayton 140conf Meet Up on Aug 22, do it now. I’ll wait. (I figured I’d drag you in first, then hit you up. Clever, eh?)
Ok, so here is how it all went down.
We exchanged available dates and agreed to Friday, May 28 at the Smokin’ BBQ in the Oregon District. As the date approached, I got a little anxious that no other exchange had taken place, so I was a bit unsure if Gary was going to show or not. I almost didn’t go myself. But I did.
I got there a bit early and ordered. Lt. Larry Faulkner of the Dayton Police was there as well, probably on an advance mission to check me out to make sure I wasn’t some nutjob. (I am, but apparently didn’t look it 🙂 )
As I was eating my BBQ (sliced brisket, smoked bologna for the dogs) and settling into my Kindle, Gary comes strolling along down Fifth. We wave through the glass and him, Larry and I had a nice lunch.
We talked about Dayton and how we could bring some passion back for the city. We talked about the media and some politics in general. But mostly we talked about everyday things, like his kids and the family of cats that had moved into his home.
And that next Monday, Gary and I became friends on Facebook. And perhaps this is the small start of a connection with city government that doesn’t feel like a heartless, soulless cog in a larger machine.
How are you reaching out to your local government?