Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ray Clark misstated a factual situation

Ray Clark of The Gray News wrote on August 4, 2006:

“The project could become the first test of the Council’s firmly stated policy that developers cannot be required to provide cisterns, sprinklers, or other fire suppression devices.”

This statement is false. There is no 'firmly stated policy' (besides, is there such a thing as a 'weakly stated policy?') The Gray Town Council amended its subdivision ordinance through a legal vote that stated explicitly that fire suppression is optional. (see legal notice below). The council did not make a “policy.” The Council instead legally amended a town-wide ordinance. Ordinances are akin to a law.

Ray Clark wrote:“The Planning Board, on the other hand, holds that it has a duty to look out for the public safety, and may elect to defy the council.”

This is also false. The Planning Board’s duty is as follows:

"The Planning Board is an administrative board which has the responsibility of reviewing all site plan and subdivision applications for conformance to all local land use regulations, as well as for conformance to State and Federal rules that may apply.” Their charge is “To review and pass upon applications for subdivisions and site plan approval submitted pursuant to the applicable Ordinances of the Town.”

Their role is not to defy the council. Their role is not to set aside legal ordinances. Ray Clark was biased in his reporting when he suggested otherwise.

Town of Gray Notice

Subdivision Fire Suppression Systems are optional
Effective March 7, 2006, the Gray Town Council enacted Order #77, a subdivision ordinance amendment whereby home sprinkler systems and fire cistern tanks are clearly not required for subdivision approval through the Planning Board application and approval process. Provision and installation of these devices or systems is specifically at the full discretion of the applicant. No member of the Gray Planning Board can deny an application because the applicant does not install home sprinklers or fire cisterns. Any reference to the contrary should be brought to the immediate attention of the Gray Town Council.

6 Comments:

  • Thank You Biasbuster for stating the 'True Facts' and pointing out 'once again' how biased and false Ray Clark's reporting is! HE really is a BAD REPORTER!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:19 PM  

  • You are welcome! I was sad to see him intimate the hard working volunteers of the Planning Board may defy the council, I give them more credit than that!! They know the laws, goodness! Such a shame when he maligns people.

    I was also surprised to see Ray Clark describe a legally amended ordinance as a 'policy.' Either he does not know the ordinances of the town, which is bad when he reports on them, or he was trying to twist provable facts by manipulating language, also bad. Either way, it was a bad report.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 2:07 PM  

  • That stinks!! For Ray Clark to put in print that the Planning Board members would do something defiantly illegal is AWFUL!!! Has he no shame?? And I thought these people were his friends. Goes to show that Ray will slime anybody in a pathetic attempt to sell his bland and failing paper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:56 PM  

  • There has NEVER been a fire protection ordinance. The council stopped the planning board for making up rules on their own.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:45 AM  

  • Right. Thank you for clarifying that. Planning Board was remiss in insisting on these protections when they had not been through due process and included in the ordinance language. If the language is in the regulations then all applicants would be treated fairly and equally. With no language, the Planning Board might be tempted to request one thing of one developer and another of another, as has been done already once. One developer was required to provide a certain sized cistern and another was required to put in a bigger one, though their subdivisions were fairly equal in size.

    Unequal treatment flies in the face of the purpose of having ordinances.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 6:52 AM  

  • An educational post for me and thanks. I shall follow this if it develops.

    By Anonymous Cal Cutter, at 10:52 PM  

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