City Barbs was founded in 2005 by members of a small ad hoc community group who got tired of waiting weeks for their letters to appear in the local newspapers. Thus the first, foremost, and continuing mission has always been to provide an additional forum for local viewpoints.

Since then the blog has also grown to embrace other purposes, including:

  • Watch-dogging local government and media.
  • Encouraging and assisting citizen action.
  • Promoting openness and ethics in government.
  • Facilitating in-depth understanding of policies, processes and events.

City Barbs does not endeavor to become a newspaper. The primary goals are to offer facts, viewpoints, and analyses that constitute alternatives to official narratives when needed, and to let others know they are not alone in their desires and ideas for better local government. Sometimes that involves acts of journalism, sometimes not.


We welcome original content and viewpoints at this blog or through a link to yours. Make contact via direct messaging on Facebook or Twitter.

You may publish here under a pseudonym as long as you are not a public official, or member of the governing board of an organization that receives public money.

City Barbs reserves the right to edit or reject any post or comment the editor finds to be nonfactual, excessively inflammatory, or disrespectful of City Barbs’ contributors or readers.


City Barbs earns no revenue from advertising or subscriptions. We do accept voluntary donations to help enable Lynn to attend meetings, read public documents, and present analyses and other unique, mostly-local content based on these records and observations. If you value this content, we invite you to make a donation.


When a correction is made, we place it at the top of the original post along with the date of correction. We might also publish a correction in a separate post if the error is discovered one or more days after the original story appeared.

Minor mistakes (typos, grammar, word choice, re-phrasing for better clarity) are corrected without notifying readers.

Additions & Clarifications

Watch for updates at the tops of original posts along with the dates of additions or significant clarifications.

You will also find clarifications in discussions among members of the City Barbs Facebook Group.

Sometimes you will notice that a post contains unanswered questions and guesses as to what’s going on. This is a device for exposing the myths and faults of so-called “transparent” local governments as accessed by citizens, and is often more in tune with our purposes than filling in every single blank. So while we welcome unsolicited contributions of tips and background, please keep in mind that revealing holes in what is supposed to be readily available information is sometimes partly or entirely the point of a post.

Page updated August 25, 2021.

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