Tell us if we’ve got mad cow, but we are thinking the lack of investigation by the Almanac into Hope Sullivan’s departure is a little out of character for a newspaper. On second thought, the lack of investigation into a major shake up at Town Hall does seem to go along with a recent trend in the reporting of Woodside news by the Almanac.
The Almanac has tended to ignore some developments and major issues and when they do “report” on something they seem to just use what the Town Manager says publicly. This is in stark contrast to the more in depth reporting going on currently about the Town of Atherton by the Almanac. The Almanac has looked into Atherton’s probe of the building department, the supposed wrong doing by Atherton’s Finance Director John Johns, and then by Town Council members to name a few. Why such a disparity in treatment? Isn’t Woodside just as important? We remember how the Almanac used to report on the events and news in Woodside. People were asked questions; research was done and much more in depth and sometimes controversial articles were written giving both sides of a situation.
Remember when Woodside had a special election when COWncil member Joe Putnam resigned. The cowncil complained about how much an election would cost and they were being forced to appoint a new member rather than have an election. Then a private citizen stood up in the Town COWncil meeting and offered to pay half of the $20,000 cost for a formal election and stated he could find others to pay the rest. The Town Attorney even stated at the time of the comment that this was perfectly legal, but this option was not even considered by the COWncil. Instead the offer was ignored and they appointed who the council wanted in the first place, Ron Romines. Not only did they not enable citizens to vote him into office, the COWncil gave him an over two year term. (No surprise he was elected when he finally ran as an incumbent.) The Almanac didn’t report on this. Isn’t it news that a private citizen would fund an election to allow the people of Woodside to have a fair vote and the COWncil decided to ignore it? This was only reported here on COW under Is the Barn Empty.
Remember when the Town COWncil held a meeting in November of 2005 with regard to retaliation and unfairness in the Town’s processes (see the Cowed article for detailed information). Average citizens stood up despite fear of retaliation for talking about their experiences and told the COWncil what they had been through and what their fellow Woodsider’s have had to go through. Susan George took responsibility for her staff and said she would follow up. This very important meeting was written up by the Almanac but while they talked about some staff problems, the most important items – unequal treatment and retaliation were never mentioned! The Almanac has ignored the lack of follow up too.
Shouldn’t a newspaper be eating this stuff up? We thought part of the job of the media is to be the people’s watchdog. It appears that what the Almanac considers “reporting” in Woodside is writing down whatever the Town says. The absence of reporting on controversy and the lack investigative reporting is suspect. It seems to smell a little too much like a cow patty to us.