At Tuesday’s city council meeting, former Denison Police Chief Rod Bradley said, “Some members of the local media hide behind unsigned ‘From the news desk’ articles – again there was a time when any and all articles written by the newspaper staff were signed because the person who wrote them believed each and every thing they wrote and they didn’t care who knew.”
Bradley suggested this is because the Denison Bulletin and Review does not welcome debate or different opinions.
He was referring to an editorial printed on January 31 titled, “Pay for all the details.”
On his first point, opinion pieces in “From the news desk” that don’t carry a signature are the considered opinion of the editorial staff of this newspaper.
The names of the publisher and editor are listed on Page 2 of every edition of the newspaper along with contact information via mail, fax, telephone and email.
In October, we gave Bradley space more than twice the limit of our editorial policy to respond to comments made about him by a city council member, so Bradley is aware this newspaper welcomes varied opinions.
Rather than focusing on “who” wrote the opinion, Bradley might instead consider the content of the editorial and the points made therein.
He complained that placing the employees on leave was handled poorly, which echoed our editorial comment about rumors filling a vacuum.
The overall argument of the editorial was to encourage the city to pay for a comprehensive report from the investigator – rather than just the short summary – and not to rely on partial information provided by the attorneys of the city employees put on leave.
The attorneys have said repeatedly that they do not object to the release of information from the investigation.
The short summary report presented three weeks ago showed dysfunction within city hall and within the city council.
Members of the city council and the citizens of Denison have a right to know all the details of that dysfunction.
The editorial pointed out that personnel issues are not aired in public, for good legal reasons, which is why the city did not release commentary about the investigation while it was ongoing.
All of the information that was floating around the community and inflaming the town was released by the employees’ attorneys.
The larger point was also made that the city manager and city clerk did release personnel issues concerning the hiring and salary of a subordinate city employee and took a personal jab at the current police chief when they authorized their attorney to release their answers to the investigator’s questions.
This blatant disregard for good management practices is even more glaring now that more personnel supervisory authority over city personnel has been given to the city manager.
Will the city council address the above or will it be ignored in an attempt to appease the angry voices at recent council meetings?
Beth Vogt presented new information concerning some of the apparent topics of the investigation, including the use of vacation days and the cost of city construction projects, to the Tuesday evening city council meeting. (see story on Page 2)
Assuming these topics were subjects were expanded upon by the investigation, yet another reason exists to get a detailed version of the report.
Why would the citizens of Denison want to pay for the expensive part of the investigation and not pay a likely much smaller amount to learn all the details?
The question stands.