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Time for the TDC to 'man up'

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By Angye Morrison

I am always amused at what some people think passes for journalism. When you read some newspapers, it’s quite clear who’s in the back pocket of the reporter or the publisher...or both.

That’s not the case at the Times. And we’re proud of that. Nobody tells us what we can and can’t write about, and no one tells us what flavor our news should be.

We’ve had the community buzzing the past couple of weeks about articles we’ve published regarding the Gadsden County Tourist Development Council. Reactions to the articles have been mixed – we’ve had some criticize and others stand up and applaud the fact that someone is speaking out...or in this case, writing about, “in-the-shade activities.” Those are someone else’s words, not mine, but I agree.

For the record, we didn’t call the TDC out on just their September meetings. We did our homework. They haven’t advertised any of their meetings, with the exception of the Oct. 19 meeting, which was advertised as a direct result of our first article.

For the record, we didn’t “create” those headlines...we just reported the news. It’s what a newspaper is supposed to do. No other newspaper in the area had the gumption to do it.

And for the record, we congratulate the council for what they’re trying to do. Bringing more tourist dollars to this county will only benefit us all.

But people demand accountability and rightly so. I find it unsettling that there are some local elected and appointed officials who are quick to point the finger at others and say, like a 5-year-old child,

“I didn’t do it!” True leaders       

would stand up and be held accountable.

I also find it disturbing that when caught doing wrong, some would begin posturing, chests puffed out, about legal counsel. That’s buying into the mentality that’s so rampant in today’s society... “Did somebody do you wrong? Then sue ‘em!”

The facts are the facts...Sunshine Law is black and white. I know because I checked the manual myself...I didn’t rely on someone to tell me what it says. I went to the source. And you can, too. Go online at www.myfloridasunshine.com and take a gander.

The facts are this, plain and simple: Public meetings are to be advertised. Period. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a continuation of a previous meeting. In this case, with the TDC, the county should have advertised the meetings and didn’t. To point a finger at the county and say, “We didn’t do it!” is just wrong.

The TDC has elected and appointed officials sitting in its chairs...and they all know how things are supposed to be done. They should man up, admit the error, and get back to the business of bettering Gadsden County.

You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/missangye. E-mail your comments and suggestions to me at editor@gadcotimes.com.