Lopsided coverage (May 23, 2017)
I am writing to express my disappointment with the Daily Press’ reportage on the Town of Apple Valley’s hostile takeover of Liberty Utilities.
On May 18th, for example, you reported the Town’s position that there would be plenty of money to finance the takeover (“Official: Rate reductions possible if town takes over water system”), without even mentioning Liberty Utilities’ April 28th letter to the Town (which had been made public that same day) pointing out the manifold errors in the Town’s position.
Now today (May 23rd), when you finally get around to presenting the facts in Liberty’s letter, you provide the Town ample space to repeat the same erroneous statements it has made over and over regarding financing (“Liberty disputes Puckett’s claim of lowered rates in letter”).
Your letters page often includes a notice that, “We prefer letters of 300 words or less.” Yet you have edited portions from letters from opponents of the Town’s actions that had fewer than 300 words when submitted, while publishing pro-takeover letters in excess of 500 words.
You have compounded this lopsided coverage by publishing both editorials and letters to the editor in the same edition of the paper to two Apple Valley Town Council members on two separate occasions, while not printing letters from the public, and even going so far as to edit public comment on the pretext that you have limited space.
All this is in addition to the fact that for years you have allowed an activist who supports every Town proposal to serve as a columnist who attacks anyone who opposes the Town’s agendas.
You are to be commended for no longer employing the egregiously pro-Town reporter you once featured, but clearly there is still some work to be done on this issue.
— Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.