Diane Brower: Editorial wrong
April 15, 2006
We believe that the Pilot & Today Editorial Board’s editorial of Wednesday, April 12, was misleading and vague.
At issue was whether the effort to recruit applicants for a vacancy on the Yampa Valley Housing Authority was sufficient and what criteria should be used to appoint a representative to replace the four Housing Authority Board members who have stepped down in the past two years.
The Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley felt that the recent effort, in which Ed MacArthur was appointed from an applicant pool of two people, was insufficient for such an important community position. If the County Commissioners or City Council had any doubts about this process, it was their duty to investigate further. A majority of City Council members agreed to do this. Some members of the Board of County Commissioners and City Council questioned the “intent” of the Community Alliance. The editorial used the phrase “underhanded attempt.” What he failed to mention is that the Community Alliance never questioned Ed MacArthur’s qualifications in any of its written or verbal comments submitted to the county or the city.
The editorial also stated “Notice of the opening was published multiple times in this newspaper, and there were at least two responses.” The Community Alliance could only find two listings — one block ad and one classified. Reported claims of an ad on the City Page could not be verified by the City Clerk (responsible for the City Page) or a Web search on the city’s Web site.
Only two applications were received, not “at least two.” Also important to note is that a person currently serving on a YVHA committee was interested in applying to be a board member and had been turned away when attempting to apply. Even this individual who had an interest in finding the application announcement did not see it in the paper. Shouldn’t there be some concern that this committed volunteer was being “jerked around” or “deserved better” — phrases used in the editorial when referring to the week-long delay in Ed MacArthur’s appointment.
The seat that Mr MacArthur was appointed to fill had been occupied by Bud Rogers. But, during the past two years, three other positions representing low income, mobile-home park residents and/or construction have been vacant. The one position being filled should have been representative of these four vacated positions.
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We hope that in the future the Pilot & Today will make a greater attempt to editorialize with accuracy and even-handedness.
Community Alliance of the Yampa Valley