Friday, July 23, 2010

Need to meet with Councilwoman Cathy Jolly? Good luck

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge "Catch me if you can!"
  • "Catch me if you can!"

Tracy Ward of the Liberty Restoration Project, an anti-Big-Brother organization best known for protesting the city's red-light cameras, has been trying to schedule a meeting with Councilwoman Cathy Jolly since April 14. Ward and the LRP oppose the red-light cameras as well as the proposed use of Shotspotter technology, in which microphones are placed in high-crime locations to trace the sound of a gunshot to its origin.

But after three months of requests, Ward has yet to see the councilwoman face-to-face.

As chairwoman of the Public

Safety and Neighborhoods Committee, Jolly has repeatedly voiced her

support for the cameras and the Shotspotter. Additionally, Ward lives

in Jolly's district. It's only natural for Ward to request a meeting

with Jolly to try to sway her to the LRP's point of view.

On April 14, Ward e-mailed Jolly's chief staff assistant, Lisa Sturgeon:

Hello Lisa, I met with you today about

visiting with Cathy Jolly sometime next week. Could you possibly give me a few

available times and we can hopefully work something out? Thanks so much for your

time. In Liberty, Tracy Ward.

After receiving no response, she tried again on April 20:
Hello Lisa, I spoke with you last week and also emailed you regarding setting up a meeting with Cathy Jolly. Is it possible to meet her this week on Thursday or Friday? I know you stated Monday through Thursday worked best, but I'm free on Friday as well. Gabe Grider will also be attending the meeting with me. Please let me know if that will work. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Tracy Ward.
click to enlarge Ward (right) and Catherine Bleish just want to talk.
  • Ward (right) and Catherine Bleish just want to talk.
Sturgeon responded April 20:
You mentioned that you wanted to discuss Shotspotter with Councilwoman Jolly. She informed me that there is a federal grant that is being applied for through the Green Impact Zone through Congressman Cleaver's office and that his office would actually be the point of contact for that project.
On April 21, Ward wrote,
Thank you for getting back to me, Lisa. However, I would still like to set up a time to visit with Mrs. Jolly. I am one of her constituents and I do reside in her district. Please let me know if Friday or sometime next week would work. Thank you so very much for your time.
Sincerely, Tracy Ward
Sturgeon wrote back April 23 to tell Ward that the councilwoman had an opening the morning of Wednesday, May 28. Ward agreed to the date and time and planned on meeting Jolly, but Sturgeon canceled the meeting via e-mail on May 14.
Sorry Tracy. That time is no longer open due to the homeless task force that has been scheduled that day. What about Wed. the 19th at 1:00 p.m.?
Ward agreed to the new time, but on May 18, Sturgeon asked to change it up again, this time to 11 a.m. the same day. The new time didn't work for Ward, who asked for Jolly's next availability. After some back-and-forth, Sturgeon wrote, "Tracy we are trying to squeeze this in this week, but I can look at other dates next week. Can you tell me what it is in regard to, so I'll know how much time to schedule?"

Ward responded, "I think we can cover all of our issues in about 30 minutes. Next week would be fine, if she's available." After receiving no response for two weeks, Ward asked again for a meeting time.

Sturgeon responded on July 14:
Tracy, Please let me know what the topic of discussion for the meeting [is] and who will be attending.
Ward explained in an e-mail that she wanted to talk about alternative means for public safety other than surveillance, and that the time of the meeting would determine who else from the LRP would attend. Sturgeon sent back two more suggested meeting times, and Ward chose the option of Thursday, July 22, listing two other LRP members who would also be there.

On Wednesday, Ward received another cancellation from Jolly, via Sturgeon. "However, I can respond to your requests for information if you will give me a call," Sturgeon wrote.

Ward is understandably frustrated -- she's met with Mayor Mark Funkhouser, Missouri state Sen. Jolie Justus and her state representative, Michael Brown, with no problem. "I just don't get why [Jolly's] so inaccessible," she tells The Pitch.

We've left a message for Sturgeon and will update this post when we hear back.

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