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In Focus

I would like to address some concerns shared with me about being elected to the Hewitt City Council and also working as a reporter.

Some have said it is a conflict of interest. I can see why they would think that, but it is not. The first thing I did was speak with our attorney and he said it was not a conflict, as there are many reporters that serve on their local boards, some are even mayors. I would also like to point out my co-worker and fellow reporter Karin has been on the Clarissa City Council for a few years now.

Some have wondered if a different reporter will cover the Hewitt meetings. No. I will continue to cover the meetings for the newspaper, as Karin does for her meetings.

We don’t have anyone else to cover meetings and we are already stretched thin and can’t make it to every meeting in our area. We are doing our best getting notes from the meetings we cannot attend to ensure we can inform the public what is going on.

I would also like to point out that we write meeting minutes to keep you informed. The governing bodies have to submit their legal minutes to their official newspaper as well. The legal minutes are approved by the council before submission.

The newspaper is not a government agency...we are a small business.

If there were to be any conflict of interest in a situation, than I would have to abstain from voting.

What I write for the “meeting watch” for the paper won’t change. It is my job to keep the public informed and keep the councils and boards honest. I want there to always be transparency. We were elected for a reason, and I hope you put your trust in us.

And yes, I have many new ideas. I will share my knowledge with the council, as I hope they will share theirs with me. I would like to have work sessions to really flush out the bigger issues such as nuisance properties, and create a plan to bring to the council meetings. I feel the committees have been grossly under-utilized and I hope they will be put into use to discuss issues and plans and do the job they were intended to do. I plan to bring back the city’s Facebook page to help better inform residents of what’s happening. I would like the entire council to attend training seminars to freshen our knowledge and learn more about our roles. These are just a few of my ideas and I’m open to listening and learning from others.

And being realistic I know only so much can be done at one time. Change doesn’t happen overnight.



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