I say no to the Tribune’s demand
I’ve had it! Doesn’t the Tribune editorial staff have anything better to do than continue to dredge up old issues, previously reported on and continue to bash former and current city managers, attorneys, council members? The only reason I subscribe to the Tribune is to read the local news. I at this point have completely lost respect for your editorial opinion and leadership role in our community. Your most recent snafu in your editorial of Aug. 22 is a perfect example of nothing else to do, well let’s just continue to bash city government, base it on unsubstantiated facts and suppositions and wrap it up neatly with the veil of the First Amendment.
Why the challenge to the five of us to respond with one letter in a forum which you demand? Ridiculous! As if we all march in lock-step to the same drummer? I have previously taken the position of remaining on the high road, choosing not to respond every time the Tribune gets it wrong, or a headline is totally disproportionate to the content of the article. But you got me this time so here goes.
For me, I read every agenda three times. First to peruse for content, second for details, and thirdly to jot down and highlight questions, make comments I may wish to bring up, issues I may need to follow up on, etc. I take time to do this as I see it as a very important oversight responsibility I have. As mayor I participate in the agenda-making process prior to every meeting. I am confident that my fellow council members read thoroughly their agendas as well. Have you ever seen us sit quietly and say nothing the entire meeting? This allegation came out of thin air, I know we are over 6,200 feet, maybe a little oxygen might help your editorial staff.
I never said Dave Childs, our very capable and former city manager, had never been reviewed. I personally spent a lot of time in my written evaluation, which can be found in his personnel file. He presented us with a detailed evaluation form he was familiar with and most of us responded.
As for our very capable and qualified city attorney, yes we did know when we hired her that she worked for a very large firm with many attorneys. And that these attorneys represented many local people and interests. What is wrong with that? We felt it gave her an edge in understanding local politics, local agencies and would benefit the city to have someone so familiar with local issues. She remains loyal to the city and has taken on many in-house litigations successfully which has saved the General Fund thousands of dollars during her tenure.
As for the yearly budget, I for one take it very seriously, just ask the city department heads. I review line by line each and every department. I have often been outspoken at budget hearings, you would know this if you read your own articles or took the time to attend budget sessions.
The Redevelopment Agency is not broke. We are very pleased with the progress we have made, and the numbers prove it. The new leadership team keeps us very well informed. We have always been kept in the loop as to the need for borrowing from the General Fund and have set a plan in place for repayment. You would know this if you attended our sessions or bothered to read our city manager’s reports. You continue to contradict yourself. Read the articles printed, keep up with what your staff writes about.
It is time for the Tribune to stop riding “dead-horses” just to stir up controversy and attract new advertising dollars. Why not spend your time reporting on real pertinent issues facing the city? A positive article once in a while would be appreciated, we do work very hard on local issues, and keep the constant struggle to stretch limited city dollars to maintain and provide city services. Your reporter left early at our last council meeting. The afternoon session was very important as we adopted the 66 objectivities within the five priorities we plan to work on currently and in the near future. It framed our goals in such a way as to be better policy makers and know that we are working on the same page to review, reform and be active in initiating changes we as a group feel are for the betterment of our city. Naturally we all don’t agree on every issue nor would the public want us too. That’s why we have the democratic process of elections every four years. Until April of this year I had a perfect attendance record at council meetings, that’s how seriously I take my oversight responsibilities. I have had the great opportunity to participate in public service for almost seven years now. Unlike the Tribune, whose staff turnover is astounding, lack of editorial and publisher’s oversight and input and cub reporting: I can’t remember all the city reporters over the years, with such a turnover how can you be expected to keep up with your own articles? It’s time to lay off the often inaccurate, unsubstantiated opinions based on misinformation and in some cases cruel statements just for cruelty’s sake. Grow up and start reporting on what is really going on and happening in our fair city. For some reason you are stuck in your “web of the past” and have not really kept up with what we are really doing and accomplishing. No wonder your paper has lost the respect of locals who keep up and know the real issues.
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