Letter: Report was wrong
October 10, 2001
It may seem unbecoming for one in public office to publicly chastise the media for printing anything that appears to shed an unfavorable light on that public official. Nevertheless, I shall undertake the risk that this letter may be so interpreted by some.
In the Oct. 6 R-C article “New Ranchos trustee appointed,” the report indicated that the new trustee “Swas chosen by Le Drew, who nominated him, Al Wagner and Jimmie Fields. Chairman Roger Paul and Vice Chairman Bev Page voted against Barnum.”
For anyone even casually familiar with the nomination and voting procedure, it is obvious that votes are cast only for a nominee. Votes are not cast against a nominee. While Trustee Page and I did not cast a vote for Mr. Barnum, we certainly did not cast a vote against him. At the time three of the five members of the board cast their votes for Mr. Barnum, Trustee Page and I reserved our right to cast our votes for one of the remaining three nominees or not to cast a vote at all. When a majority had cast their vote, it was not necessary to proceed further with the election procedure. As a result, we did not cast a vote.
I hold the fourth estate in the highest regard and consider the press as an indispensable element in the success of our republican form of government. However, individual journalists must earn the respect of their readers. When reporters purposefully twist the facts, or, equally as egregious to me, display unforgivable ignorance of fundamental procedures familiar to high school students, I believe they deserve to be chastised.