By Beth David, Editor
I think the problem is that some people don’t really want a real newspaper. They prattle on and on about objectivity and gossip and fake news. But what they are really complaining about is that we are reporting on stuff they don’t want us to reveal.
Blaming the messenger, again.
Most if this foolishness played out on Facebook.
We are not supposed to report on Mr. Silvia’s possible conflict of interest for getting paid to do work at the Council on Aging, where his wife is the Director, or for other town work while he has been on the Select Board. We have not written our story on that yet. We are still doing our research. We simply mentioned some of those payments in our story last week. We are waiting for the rest of the documents and then we will write the story and give Mr. Silvia a chance to respond.
Meanwhile, the usual Neighb News detractors are going after us on FB, with the same old tired lines: it’s a gossip sheet….it’s fake news…she’s biased.
Some people are actually twisting it up to say we don’t want anyone doing volunteer work for the town or giving the town a financial break on work.
Well, these are public funds and there are rules around how you can spend them. This is not a private business or your house where you can just pick a guy because he’s cheap. This is taxpayer money and there is a fairness issue here.
Attacking me and my paper for our solid reporting does not change the facts.
Of course people can volunteer for the town. Don’t be ridiculous. If the guy who helps clean up the bike path uses his trucks, that’s okay. That’s free publicity even if he is an elected official. Why is that different? Because the town doesn’t pay outside contractors to do that work. If they did, then he’d damned well better stay away.
Of course it’s okay for people to join beach cleanups and other property cleanups. The town isn’t using public funds to do that. It’s organized by volunteers, using volunteers. Everyone….take your business trucks and be seen. No problem.
The minute the town decides to contract out that work, then stay away if you are an elected official. How hard is that?
If your wife runs a town program and she has control of the purse strings, you should not be doing any work there whether you are a town official or not.
This isn’t rocket science people.
And if you really think there’s not a problem with it, then go in front of the board and explain why, file a disclosure, let people know what’s going on. Don’t go sneaking around not telling anyone about it.
The problem is that some people don’t want a real newspaper. They want a mouthpiece for whatever committee or organization they’re on. They want us to amplify their message but not question it, they want a public relations echo chamber. We’re supposed to report on a meeting where a board member alleges a conflict of interest on someone else and we’re supposed to ignore his conflicts? Pay attention, people. That’s not our role.
We did nothing special to get our information. We didn’t sneak around someone’s house or put listening devices in cars. We simply covered meetings and followed the bread crumbs. And there were lots of bread crumbs.
We have asked for public documents to find out if what we believe is true. Public documents. Nothing underhanded, just…hmm…how to say this, what real reporters do?
We have some meeting coverage for you in this week’s issue. Two Selectboard meetings. The board is moving forward on the Town Admnistrator process and will ask for a DOR report (see page 4). What a difference an election makes, huh?
The board also held a regular meeting. See page 11 for that.
Fairhaven is officially a Purple Heart Town, and we have the signs to prove it. The town held a ceremony over the weekend to honor those wounded or killed in battle in service to the country. See page 12 for that.
The Fairhaven Police Department is also going to start up a K9 unit. Just a quick teaser on that on page 19. We’ll be getting more when the town picks a dog and training starts. That should be fun, huh?
There’s also information on a few different pages with COVID testing and vaccination information. Cases are rising all over the country. Get vaccinated! Trust the science. If you really can’t do that, then at least get tested so people will know when to stay the hell away from you.
Until next week then…see ya,
Click here to download the entire 8/12/21 issue: 08-12-21 PurpleHeart
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