To Region 1 Administrators and Board Members: STOP BLAMING THE MEDIA FOR YOUR OWN FAILURES!
To the (Falls) Village People: YOU ARE THE BEST! THANKS FOR YOUR INFORMED VOTE AND YOUR SUPPORT!
By Gale Courey Toensing
Elected officials like the North Canaan representative and so-called public servants or agents of the state like the assistant superintendent have a strong tendency to blame the media for their own failures as reported in the blog posting here http://bit.ly/19t9vyO.
The media is an easy scapegoat, but it isn’t the problem here in Region 1 where we have a group of veteran reporters at the Republican American, the Litchfield County Times, the Lakeville Journal and our local National Public Radio station at WHDD Robin Hood Radio, who among them probably rack up close to 100 years of responsible print and broadcast journalism. No, they can’t be blamed for the third budget defeat.
The blame lies clearly with the top two administrators in whom the public has totally lost confidence, and with the board majority that refuses to acknowledge the public’s loss of confidence in both the top administrators and the board itself. Neither the administrators nor the board majority are taking responsibility for their own inadequate performances or the toxic divisions they have created in the region. Their specific failures have been documented on this website and in numerous letters to the editors and in the courageous voices of taxpayers and students who took time out of their busy lives to attend public hearings and meetings, stand up and speak out. But the board majority has chosen to ignore their voices. No, it’s not the media that has created the loss of confidence and third budget defeat.
When people in positions of power blame the media, what are they really saying? They’re really saying the media should abandon its independent voice and report what they – the people in power — want reported. It’s a kind of bullying: intimidate the media in the hope that it will bend in the direction that the people in power want. In Region 1 the bullying has occurred in public comments such as those from the North Canaan representative and assistant superintendent and also by people in power calling editors repeatedly and complaining about particular reporters’ coverage.
About that comment from the North Canaan representative that “none of the taxpayers she had spoken to had a clear idea of why the board had crafted the budget it did” – isn’t it HER responsibility to explain the budget to her constituents? For the second year in a row, she and the other board members whose towns have voted town the budget are out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent.
Finally, I want to say thank you to the splendid people of Falls Village and our town leaders, particularly First Selectwoman Pat Mechare and Board of Finance member Lou Timolat. The Village people are the ones who consistently attend Region 1 board meetings, attend school events and PAY ATTENTION to what’s going on. They are what every committed elected official longs for – informed voters. I can’t thank them enough for providing me with direction, for their comments, questions, attendance at the community meetings I held, and most of all for their amazing confidence in me and their support, which along with my husband’s, has sustained me as a Region 1 board member for the past four-plus years.