Today, August 1, marks the official two-year anniversary of the Germantown Pulse.
Two years already!
While the work to make Germantown Pulse a reality started a few weeks before, August was the first full month of operation. In those first weeks after August 1, the Germantown Pulse didn’t have much in terms of readership. In that first month just 1,723 unique visitors came to www.GermantownPulse.net, and the newborn website had just 3,810 pageviews for the entire month of August.
Since then, the Pulse has worked hard to cover as much of the news in the Germantown area as possible, from fires to motor vehicle accidents, from crime to high school graduations, through blizzards and sweltering heat, State Championship to candlelight vigils. It if happened in the Germantown area, it has been part of the Pulse.
Thanks to an amazing readership that has shared our stories on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram, or talked to their neighbors about this new site called the Pulse, it has grown stronger and more powerful. Our readership has grown exponentially. The Pulse as grown thanks to a readership collective that cares about the community and wants local news and local sports, about local people and local neighborhoods.
In July 2016, according to Google Analytics, 43,669 unique visitors read local news on Germantown Pulse, and the site had 80,979 pageviews.
In all of 2015, the first full year of Germantown Pulse’s existence, the Pulse had 129,764 unique users and 308,308 pageviews. In just the first six-months of 2016, the Pulse attracted 150,676 unique users and 369,677 pageviews, according to Google Analytics.
Our readers have been instrumental to our growth, and we thank them for their support. And our advertisers have been essential — they make Germantown Pulse possible. Please continue to support our advertisers so that they can continue to support the Germantown Pulse.
As we begin our third year of operation, it is our fervent hope that the groundswell of support from the community will continue. When Germantown Pulse started two years ago, one of the goals was to strengthen Germantown as a community — to be one thread which binds all residents of Germantown together.
Germantown is a community of neighborhoods. According to the 1974 Master Plan, Germantown was to be “surrounded by a greenbelt of publicly owned parks. Within the greenbelt, eight districts were identified: Town Center District, an Employment Corridor, and six Villages — Churchill, Gunners Lake, Clopper, Kingsview, Middlebrook, and Neelsville.” It has been Germantown Pulse’s hope to bring all those “villages” just a bit closer together, to create a more unified Germantown.
With its “villages” and neighborhoods, Germantown is like any small city in America. However, unlike most cities, Germantown does not have an elected leader who speaks only for Germantown. Germantown has no voice. Germantown has no elected official whose sole purpose and focus is to speak for Germantown. It is a city of nearly 100,000 people with no independent voice.
While we have a County Council member that represents the Germantown area, however, that seat also represents Montgomery Village, Damascus, and Darnestown. We have four At-Large members of the County Council, who are also supposed to speak for Germantown, but they all live within two miles of each other in Takoma Park, which is the farthest you can be from Germantown and still be Montgomery County. And frankly, the way this one-party County Council votes in lock-step with each other, it is questionable if any one of them represents Germantown or their own party’s interests. None of our elected representatives can say they represent Germantown first, without alienating some other section of their constituency.
Is it any wonder that Councilmember Craig Rice had to give an impassioned plea to residents gathered for the Town Hall meeting on Police and Race Relations last week that they should come to him with issues and complaints? He questioned why the complaints were first coming to his attention at a Town Hall Meeting. It is not that Rice isn’t doing his job, it is that he not only represents Germantown’s nearly 100,000 residents, he also represents and all the residents of Clarksburg, and Damascus, and Montgomery Village, and Goshen, and Darnestown, and Boyds, and Barnesville. And not even Superman can be in eight places at once.
As the Germantown Pulse has said before, perhaps it is time for Germantown to come together as a true town and stop being six villages in search of a leader. Germantown has seen a revolutionary 20 years of growth and resettlement. Perhaps Germantown, as a community, should consider hiring, or electing a leader to tackle the day-to-day issues that any city of nearly 100,000 residents will face.
Germantown has already shown that our six villages can exist as wonderful melting pots of multiculturalism, as our community has been chosen as one of the most diverse in the nation. Let us now use our strength to become more than a collection of people living next to each other. Let us become more than neighbors, let us become true Citizens of Germantown. Perhaps it time to make the town in Germantown more than a misnomer. Perhaps it is time for us to look once again into incorporating as our neighbors in Gaithersburg, and Rockville and Poolesville have done. Perhaps it is time for a Mayor of Germantown can speak to County leaders on behalf our residents.
However, until such a time as a mayor, city manager, selectman, or town chancellor is chosen to be the voice of our community, the Germantown Pulse will be here to inform the populace and be a voice for Germantown.
The Germantown Pulse is humbled and inspired by the continued support of this little online news source receives from the community. Thank you for your support — it is only with your help and support that we can continue to be the pulse of Germantown.