Friday, June 06, 2008

Mayor Carlson: No medium to get a message out to the public

Hey, we're here! ...And just like the government, we like to think we're here to help the community

We're making phone calls, we're sending email requests for information, we're searching the internet and the libraries for background information so that we can understand an issue and not look like idiots when we report on it, or at least some of us are, and many of us are doing it every day.

Juxtapose this:

"How do you get a message out to the public, to the people that you're elected to represent if you no longer have a medium to do it with?" - Mayor Tom Carlson from his State of the City Report June 5, 2008

With this:

"I’m no longer interested in relaying any corrections beyond something simple and obvious like a Council name misspelling. However, I will also point out...." Public Information Director Louise Whall, as quoted from an email sent to a contributor of this blog. View it in the comment section under: More on 1/8-cent Transportation Tax)

I struggle daily with wondering if I am wrong to point these things out, but, you know, if city officials wouldn't say things like the above, I wouldn't have anything like that TO report.

I'll tell you something, readers, when I reported on what Greene County Commissioner Roseann Bentley said in an interview I did while writing an article for Community Free Press, February 27 issue:

"To be honest with you, when I became county commissioner, I was startled to find that it is, very often three out of the five days a week, a 7:30 or 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. job." - Greene County Commissioner Roseann Bentley, February 27 issue, CFP.

I didn't include it in the first, second, third...numerous first drafts, and I languished over the decision to publish it because I knew the detrimental effect it could have on an upcoming election. I literally lost sleep over whether to include it or not, asking my husband, over and over, "why did she say THAT!?" In the end, how could I not report it? Don't voters have the right to know? Don't I have the responsibility to inform them? Yet, I struggle and I stress every day and continue to weigh information and try to give readers the best work I can give them.

Mayor Carlson said yesterday:

"It's not like it used to be, there's not the depth, there's not the scope, there's not the understanding on the part of the media, on the topics that they're covering."

Sure, the media can take a part of the blame for that, but most of the time, I'd wager, the media is doing all they can to get information on any given topic so they can cover something fairly and it's like pulling teeth to get the information sought, then, add the timing issue. Reporters are on a dead line.

I think reporters should take some of the blame, but just as in the case of the police/fire pension plan's underfunding, there's enough blame to go around.

I was hoping I wouldn't have anything to post at JackeHammer today...looks like it just didn't work out. - Jackie Melton


Busplunge said...

So That's who Jackehammer is!

Jim Lee

Jacke M. said...

Oh, heck! I thought EVERYBODY knew that by now!


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we have our sensitive MAYOR who fights local poverty with programs that waste about 70 million tax dollars when the state taxpayers kick out 100 million.

With 100+ million needed for pensions with provided by our fine City intellects who have their own separate solvent retirement program...

why the heck would anyone be asking questions now????

Let's get on the wagon with the mayor...

tom said...

Just because the mayor now feels like the city is being watched doesn't mean it is the media's position to up and believe all is well with the city.
Council has had a free reign for quite some time, which can be proven quite easily by looking at the condition that some parts of this city have fallen into while the city collects millions in tax revenue. These arrogant people have finally been shown to be people who can't be trusted and NOW all of a sudden it is the fault of the media and local watchdog groups for pointing out the flaws in the system.

Anonymous said...

The mayor could try telling the truth sometime, and how the retirement system for the city manager's is solvent
but somehow the same people completely trashed the
police and fire funds.

We all know his message.