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Roanoke Free Press
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A good way to endear yourself to the media

Was that nails on chalkboard I heard as I read Vice Mayor Court Rosen’s commentary in The Roanoke Times? Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners and media types at the hour of our death. Amen.

“Information regarding city government in the media is often brief and covers the most controversial issues. I understand and appreciate that news stories are often designed to focus on topics of interest to the audience; however, this often produces a void relating to less interesting topics such as reformation of the city’s pension plan or reprioritization of capital expenditures on infrastructure.

But rest assured; despite not hearing a great deal about these topics, council devotes tremendous time and energy to addressing core issues such as these, often with as much vigorous debate and discussion as those more controversial issues that do receive news coverage. But you should expect this discussion from your elected officials regardless of the topic or likelihood of coverage.” READ MORE FROM ROSEN’S COMMENTARY HERE.

fredoWhat was he thinking when he wrote this blaming the media for not reporting council meeting minutes. Maybe if some council members would pipe down and not talk for the sake of talking they could actually get through briefings at a decent time and make life easier for the media.

When Mayor Bowers asks “is there any more discussion” I can tell you I pray – please dear Lord let us move along to the next briefing in this century.

The Roanoke citizenry are busy with their daily lives and are apathetic to boot. Maybe Mr. Rosen should hold a town hall or drive down every city street in a truck with a megaphone blaring “look at me” I am the greatest budget fixer  – why don’t you care!

I’d bet 50% (being generous here) don’t get any newspaper or watch TV news. That is – they don’t care until it hits their back yard. That is just the way it is and if you want kudos from the “I don’t cares” than you shouldn’t be on city council. If you expect the media to fix it for you than you shouldn’t be on city council.

The motivation for every Roanoke journalist just took a big dump.

Speaking for myself only I have reported the pension plan changes, reprioritization of capital improvements (library master plan) etc.,  and all the boring figures several times. I have reported in detail the budget, questioned priorities as any good reporter should. See the links below just for starters, Mr. Rosen. Most if not all appeared in The Roanoke Star.

If the commentary was an attempt to preempt all the money spent on unnecessary city studies and projects than you did a good job Mr. Rosen. That $6 million for Elmwood Park, $650,000 for Market Square or the culvert for the rail passenger station are these priorities? Or are the three old fire stations brought to council’s attention more important to replace?

Is the incremental funding request presented to council for infrastructure and public works more important? Council sets the priorities so if other priorities come along and slap council in the face as they did at Monday’s budget briefing than council is accountable for what was wasted previously.

The largest incremental increase request was $4.1 million for infrastructure needs – roads, bridge, curb gutter, storm water management and roads. The next highest request for an increase was Safety at $1.48 million.

All I can say is council better say a lot of “Hail Mary’s” – just in case say the whole rosary often and loud when you all go out on the boat to fish with Fredo.

You can review all my budget articles (some regarding state) by clicking the “budget” “city debt” tags.

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Roanoke City’s budget ready for public hearing

Roanoke City revenues are looking up for fiscal year 2012

Revised library plan will invest in neighborhood branches

Comments (1)

The Infamous AS Cooper

February 12th, 2013 at 3:04 PM    


Rosen is better at posturing than actually doing anything. And the “dedicated staff” is just funny. Road crews spend more time under a shade tree than working. Trucks will sit for hours,motors running awaiting other crews to do an alley a day, which takes them a half hour. A friend of mine,now dicesed worked on these crews, and told me they were often just told to ride around town,in dump trucks mind you, when there wasn’t an immediate task at hand.This is the way the City is run basically throughout.Then they cry..Lack of funds. Pure malarky!

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