Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Those funny things they say!

The Town council, among other duties, is elected to make policy, act on recommendations of the Town Manager and be staunch supporters of the person they hired to do the job. (Julie DeRoche, 2-19-99)

It will be interesting to see if now-councilor DeRoche sides unquestioningly with the staff, against the citizens, at all costs. The Gray News folks have had a long history of being staunch supporters of anything Town Office comes up with, including egregious raises in town budgeting and supporting the setting aside of standard policy.

Ms DeRoche, being the Gray News's candidate-friend, is on record many times as supporting employees over citizens.

The Gray News is, and will remain, a community newspaper. It covers Gray and only Gray...It does not pretend to be a regional paper. It is dedicated to Gray
Ray Clark, 2001-03-09

The Gray News is located in New Gloucester. It is there because that is the only place they could get free rent. New Gloucester stories appear regularly in The Gray News. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but Mr Clark cannot have it both ways. Either he is a paper dedicated to Gray or he is confused and puts in stories of New Gloucester while pretending the paper is something it is not.

Foster refused to forward the actual e-mails themselves, and, in fact, Foster obtained an opinion from Town Attorney William "Bill" Dale that he had fulfilled the FOA request by printing the e-mails in their entirety. Nathan Tsukroff, 2006-01-27

As a reporter who claims to be the watchdog of the council, Mr Tsukroff should know that the FOI request had indeed been fulfilled by printing them out and giving them to the requester. The Freedom of Access request is fulfilled when the documents requested change hands from government to requester.

And the time for getting all worked up over stuff over which we have little control is over, too.
Ray Clark editorial 6-24-05

But, alas, it wasn't. Several weeks later, the Gray News was part of a recall effort to get councilors off the council with whom they did not agree.


  • Let's see if Julie will be "equal" about HER dealings between Gray News and The Monument. I noticed she didn't send her candidate article to The Monument.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 AM  

  • Personally, I can't believe she was elected to the Council! Having said that, it will be most interesting to see where her loyalties lie..not only in reference to the two papers, but her support of the Council on serious issues that will directly affect the Citizens? Hopefully she will realize the scope of work that faces the Council; and focus on the Reality of it...rather than be foolishly influenced in her thoughts by Ray Clark/Nathan Tsukroff/Debbie Mancini, etc. Time will tell.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:37 AM  

  • I am inserting my reply right into anonymous's comment because of the nature of the unfounded allegations he or she is making.

    Anonymous 6:37-Serious issues that the Council is grappling with that directly affect all the Citizens?

    You mean like the sweetheart deal that Andy Upham is doing to change the zoning ordinance to benefit his duplex-building buddies at a negative fiscal impact for us current taxpayers;

    I believe you are mistaken about how the process works. Andy can’t change any zoning ordinance. The council can propose changes, likely after the Ordinance Review Committee reviews it. Then there are public hearings, the planning Board hearing, and a vote at the council where 3/5 majority must pass it. As to Andy’s alleged “duplex building buddies,” who would they be, exactly?

    You mean like the Council stacking the Ordinance Review Committee with developers, surveyors, real estate brokers that are short-sighted and only interested in their own pocketbooks. Where are the environmentalists and regular homeowners for balance?

    All councils, including the past council, appoint members to committees. All who apply are welcome. The Planning Board has a plethora of developers on it, appointed years ago by Pam’s council. I do not recall an outcry then. Or when realtor Debbie Shaw Mancini applied to help review the building codes. Again, the process is that three out of five councilors must vote in the affirmative to appoint a committee member. Council can’t “stack” anything. As to 'balance' perhaps you would encourage others to apply? Or apply yourself?

    You mean like Skip Crane's ramrodding the immediate closure of the Fire Department dispatch center and giving the contract to Cumberland County, even though a) the current dispatch has already been funded for the entire fiscal year b) the Council has violated its own procurement standards by failing to seek three bids for the outsourcing, c) the fact that the County dispatch center performs so poorly that the County Sheriffs are seeking an alternative provider to dispatch their calls.

    Maybe you have missed the process here, too. The County dispatch option was raised many months ago and there have been multiple presentations by Gray Fire-Rescue, County dispatch, discussions at the council level and Public Safety committee level, as well as public comment. Five months of slow and very public exploration is not ramrodding nor immediate. Also, no procurement has been settled on, the review is in the information stages. So no violation of procurement has occurred.

    You mean like the motivation for Crane's dispatch debacle being some nepotistic connection with County and the need to close a $100,000 deficit in another municipal department (Can you guess?)

    “Some nepotistic connection?” Without specifics this is just a slimy unfounded allegation. The issue is being explored statewide, the York Coast County Star and Press Heralds did articles just this week about recent decisions of municipalities contracting with their county dispatches. As the Star wrote, “Town officials were forced to weigh potential costs against possible delays in response time to E911 calls.” The motivation is better response time and potential savings of over $100,000.

    Lets not forget the Council's moratorium on requiring fire protection facilities for new subdivisions. Great benefit for the developer, who would have passed the cost onto the buyer anyway, but not so great for the families moving in without fire protection and higher homeowner insurance costs, or for us taxpayers who will have to pay to install such protection facilities at a latter date.

    The moratorium was because the Planning Board was requiring them without being in the ordinance. The item had not gone through proper ordinance development, which includes public hearings. That is occurring now.

    Yeah the Council is really looking out for the welfare of us regular Joes. My fear is that Julie is too inexperienced to recognize that a Balrog is in the woodpile.

    Allison gets it. Some of us taxpayers get it. The rest of you will be getting it later...right between the teeth.

    Your unfounded allegations against the character of council betrays is not the best example of a civic debate. It is unfortunate that you have set aside public and confirmable facts in your effort to malign councilors with whom you do not agree.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 4:43 AM  

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