Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trashy Thoughts on Government and Journalism

I’ve been thinking a lot about the current trash contract. People are still upset about the whole process. Most people I talk to feel that there is or at least should be a great deal more to the story. They feel that the citizens of this city were not given adequate information on how the selection process was handled. They wonder how there can be consistent over billing and unauthorized fees on a contract for at least 10 years without someone in city hall catching them. They wonder where reports, audits, investigations, etc. that should be readily available just don’t seem to be there. After almost 3 years, this should be old news but every time I’m recognized in public someone asks me “What’s up with the trash contract and why don’t I have real answers to my questions.” It’s going to take a while but this is my attempt to answer my friends, neighbors and fellow citizen of San Angelo as I see it.

Just to keep the record straight, I’m not a professional journalist. Never claimed to be. I have written a few articles that might qualify as journalism. They were unpaid submissions and therefore technically not professional. No one is paying me to write about any of this. I’m a blogger. Have been since 2004 when we first put online as a forum on the Sales Tax Election. After that election, and reviewing the results, my friend Jim Ryan and I decided to keep Conchoinfo up and online and use it to put out our best effort at analysis and opinion on local issues such as taxes, water, bond elections, etc. We were both lucky we had the time available to do  the basic but often hard research on issues, and we developed a bit of a following, a certain amount of credibility, and have been a part of creating change here in the Concho Valley. Conchoinfo has slowed down on posting over the last few years. I have a new job and a house full of people living with me. Takes up more of my time than I anticipated. And we lost Jim Ryan last year. He is greatly missed. So the output has been small and often through other outlets as comments on stories there. I’m interested in getting information, analysis, and even my opinion out there but receiving credit is not why I do this.

I am putting this on Conchoinfo because there is probably no one  involved in this that I’m not  going to irritate. The way I see it City Hall has made numerous mistakes, but so have the reporters and news organizations and media and the companies involved in the contracts, etc.. And some of these mistakes have been and are still being made by people I respect and hope to still call friends when I’ve finished posting what I have to say. Still, one thing I’ve learned on my journey through life so far, even the best people make misteaks.

It’s going to take awhile to write this all out. You and I will both need to come up for air sometimes. I’m going stop here with some links that might come in handy to help us communicate. Comments will be allowed. Encouraged even, but they will be moderated as well. Respect the people that participate on this blog and we’ll be fine. I am also posting this on facebook and the same applies there.And I'm adding some links here that might be useful. These deal references and terms that are spread all over this issue. This not to accuse anyone of anything. This is so that when someone is accused of something, you;ll have an accurate idea of what they are being accused of.

More in a couple days.