Addison City Published Newsletter
Will Increase Transparency
By Neil Resnik
Former Addison Councilmember (2010-2014)
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the newsletter formerly written solely by the Addison Mayor and the council’s decision to have the Town produce the newsletter going forward.
I attended the council meeting a couple weeks ago where the decision was made by a 4-2 vote and listened to the concerns of the citizens talking in favor of the newsletter and its then format. It was clear that the citizens appreciated the information about businesses, events, new openings going on in town, and I feel strongly that that information should continue. Very few of the speakers during the public hearing mentioned the personal attacks on former council members when they dared to disagree with the sole writer of the newsletter, and those same people disputed the notion that the newsletter was used for political purposes. As one of the people that was targeted by those political attacks while I served the Town as council member let me assure you that the newsletter was indeed used to further a particular agenda and to punish anyone who should disagree. While sometimes subtle, often the attacks were direct and not entirely truthful.
In the future a full accounting of the agenda items, issues facing the Town, and the way the vote went will be appreciated and fully transparent. An accounting of the vote and a link to the discussion is certainly a more transparent way to represent exactly what went on and the discussions that ensued. Each citizen could then draw their own conclusion from the discussion. It is time to let the new council do their job and let the Town newsletter inform the constituents of the votes and discussions that occurred without any bias. I think that would represent true transparency.
There is a lot of work to do to heal the wounds created by dividing the citizens these past several years. The new council members have all run on a platform of reform and among those reforms is true transparency. Voting to allow the Town staff to write the newsletter is not an attempt to limit transparency but to increase it.