To the editor:
I appreciate your tight schedule and the journalistic challenge that you face in covering a wide range of local issues throughout several communities. I continue to have a concern, however, with the lack of coverage of our local government in the Messenger, and I am alarmed that residents have to turn to social media to get information regarding the meetings and actions of their elected officials.
To wit, the Lysander Town Board recently held a meeting at which the supervisor presented a “State of the Town” address. The presentation of this information was an important opportunity for people to get a sense of what the newly elected town government is dealing with, any initiatives they are working on, and the direction that they are intending to take the town.
Also, the resignation of the Lysander Town Clerk was accepted at the same meeting, which sets in motion an important process of the Board agreeing on and appointing a replacement. Since this appointee will have to run and be elected by Lysander residents this November to continue to serve as their town clerk, it seems to me that this process should be covered with serious attention by the Messenger.
It is unfortunate that currently the only coverage of these issues is in the social media. As you are well aware, this “reporting” is, by nature, more sensational, often driven by personal agenda and rarely an unbiased source of information. As a member of the professional news media and a trained journalist, your summary of events provides readers with a more comprehensive and objective representation that they can use as a resource as they form their opinions.
While our local government meetings are recorded and open to the public, most residents have neither the time nor inclination to take advantage of this. I would hope that they could count on their local newspaper to keep them informed and allow them to be responsible and influential participants in the democratic process.
Former Lysander town councilor
Feb 21, 2017