Bad Journalism + Biased Editor = The Gray News

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The World According to Ray Clark

Former Editor Ray Clark is upset. He claims that since the council sent the Gray News notice of an upcoming meeting too late for the Gray News’s deadline, that they broke the Freedom of Access law, which states that the public has a right to reasonable notification of the peoples’ business.

Here is the citation:

Maine's Freedom of Access law says: "Public notice shall be given for all public proceedings as defined in Section 402, if these proceedings are a meeting of a body or agency consisting of 3 or more persons. This notice shall be given in ample time to allow public attendance and shall be disseminated in a manner reasonably calculated to notify the general public in the jurisdiction served by the body or agency concerned."

Here is Mr. Clark’s reaction to the Planner having sent the notice to Mr. Clark: “As editor of The Gray Independent News, I'm getting e-mails notifying me of public meetings late on Wednesdays-after the paper has gone to press.”

However, Mr. Clark is a bit myopic in this regard. He is upset that the Gray News didn’t receive the notice in time for his deadline. However, the Right to Know law does not state that the government must use the Gray News to notify the public. The Right to Know law does not state that the government must work around the Gray News’s deadlines. Nowhere does it state that the council or Planner must keep Mr. Clark and his newspaper in mind when the notices go out.

The town disseminates notices in the following manner: Posted in three prominent places in town, usually the Post Office, the Town Hall, and Gray Plaza. The town exceeds the law's minimum notification requirement by also announcing it at a public meeting, many of which are televised;, sending the notice to the cable committee for broadcast on the community bulletin board; and sending it to The Monument, The Press Herald, and the Gray News. That the council does not handle the notices exactly the way Mr. Clark feels they should is beside the point. What Mr. Clark should be concerned with is if the council is following the law. And they are.

12 Comments:

  • OK...I agree with you analysis of Clark's complaint...but I question if the town did indeed give adequate public notice. Kindly respond to my question with detail.

    By Anonymous Cal Cutter, at 9:02 PM  

  • OK, here are specifics. You've been involved in government long enough to know how and where to obtain answers to your questions. You will need to look at the original date of issuance of the notice, not just when Ray Clark said it was issued. You can look online at www.graymaine.org for that, by asking Dick Cahill to send /fax you a copy, or asking Gary.

    You can call Dick Cahill to have him make you a copy of the fax Ray Clark said he sent to the Gray News, and look at the date. Also, you can ask Dick if he also faxed it to the PPH and The Monument. 657 3112.

    Last, there is the possibility that the council issued a directive to Dick in plenty of time to get the notices out in a timely fashion, but perhaps Dick did not execute it quicky. Perhas the Planner got the notice in time but handed it to his secretary and she did not do it. Look for the chain of custody and who told what to whom, when. You can ask the Chair to send you an electronic copy of the e-mail he sent to Dick asking him to disseminate the notice. If no electronic copy exists, you can ask Gary when he phoned Dick. You can also ask Gary what means he used to alert the citizenry--did he instruct the Manager to post it? You can go to town office and look at the bulletin board. . Gary's number and e-mail are on the graymaine.org website. After you obtain the actual dates the council issued the notice, and where/how, you can decide for yourself if the notices reasonably notified the people or not.

    Most of these items you can accomplish right from your easy chair by clicking theinternet or by dialing the phone. It's just as easy to type "www.graymaine.org" to get answers as it is to type www.gray-maine.blogspot.com". And the answers you get will be much more authoritative, excepting the law citation I posted, because you are doing a personal assessment rather than relying on a third party.

    If you are interested, getting the answers yourself will be the best thing to satisfy your fears or to confirm an injustice was allegedly done. Either way, it's up to you.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 11:03 AM  

  • The MMA's web site and the reading of the towns lawyer covers the town. It did not have to be postponed. It's just a delay tactic from the left fringe, Chris Miller, who thinks we should not have Hannafords or any development of any kind.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:50 AM  

  • Mr Hypocritical was all for the downtowm plan now there's a different council and he is against it. He KNOWS why the town has to follow HUD rules and declaring blight in town is part of it. Retire already, your bi-ass is showing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:58 AM  

  • Is the new owner an idiot?
    Letting Ray Clark call 3 of the councilor liars!? Having an opinion is fine, false accusations are unacceptable. If you advertise in this filthy rag, you no longer have MY business!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:43 PM  

  • Mr. Corsetti seems to be feeling his way around he newspaper business, and not knowing too much about it, lets the people he’s hired to do the job, do the job. That’s fine for the Windham paper, because there are competent people running it. But it is not fine to allow Mr. Clark and the others who are associated with The Gray News have free reign because as we all know they are less than qualified and more than hateful.

    Calling the councilors liars outright is definitely crossing the line, and shows us that Mr. Clark is less worried about journalism or offering a thought-provoking editorial than he is in using the paper for a personal vent sheet.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 7:38 AM  

  • Might I also suggest that you send a letter to Mr. Corsetti explaining your sentiments and outlining your expectations for the future pieces he publishes? He would be receptive.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 7:42 AM  

  • Any idea how...can't seem to find a DIRECT address. Phone?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 PM  

  • If you go to www.graymaine.org
    click on the left menu "TOWN COUNCIL"
    a page appears that lists the councilors, their terms and their phone numbers.

    If youput your cursor over each name (except Julie DeRoche) you will see a clickable e-mail address. Julie doesn't have e-mail.

    If you go to your phone drawer, and pull the knob, take out your "GRAY-NEW GLOUCESTER" Pine Tree Networks' phone book. Flipping the pages inside, you will also find each councilor's phone number (except Alison Libbey, she has a cell) and their street address will be there too.

    I hope that is specific and direct enough for you on how to get in touch with your elected representatives to offer your help, opinion, or criticism.

    By Blogger BiasBuster, at 9:09 AM  

  • Ray Clark LIES! Also, I cannot understand why Dick Cahill is still an employee of Gray? ...HE LIES TOO!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:48 PM  

  • True enough on both counts. It has been proven with regard to Ray Clark and also Mr Cahill. Fortunately the marketlace has taken care of the Ray Clark problem, and as far as Mr. Cahill goes, ask the council why. They are the ones accountable to the people. Though the Planner is directly accountable to the manager.

    By Anonymous biasbuster, at 1:40 PM  

  • Kind of a 'vicious circle' here. The Council is accountable to the people...The Planner is directly accountable to the Manager...and the Manager is hired by the Council???

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 PM  

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