First, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and offer each of you my hope that we all have a very happy and prosperous 2017.
With that said I wanted to take this opportunity to answer a few questions that have been asked of myself and the staff of each of the properties that I have the privilege of managing. We have been asked about the decisions we have made concerning certain issues of a political nature and political races. I would like to point out that the Williamson mayor’s race is a very important position this year as always, however we have chosen to not publish the potential candidates yet as the would be purely conjecture and guess work. The mayor filling does not begin until January 9th 2017 and is open until January 28th. After January 28th we will print all of those people that have officially entered into the election. Printing the possible candidate’s names prior to that date creates two potential problems.
First, the law for political print must be fair and all candidates must be afforded the exact equal coverage, meaning if we print the names ahead of time any candidate that enters the race after publication must be afforded the same coverage as those printed early. Creating individual coverage instead of overall coverage. This is important because each and every person running for an office should be treated without bias and equally so that you the public can make fair and just decisions on whom you support. The second reason is that if we print names of people that decide not to run, we have opened a public opinion scrutiny of those people in an improper manor.
We have also been asked about our decision to not print information pertaining to an appointed position in the county. This decision was mine and mine alone. I will not allow these newspapers to hash out employment issues that are confidential by law and that are private by nature.
With all of the above said, I have another concern for this county and for the surrounding counties, WE have a lot of work to do in our communities with a plethora of problems facing us, the drug epidemic, unemployment, education issues, a weak infrastructure, failing Broadband, and on and on. My concern is that we seem to spend more time fighting between the different factions of government and political agendas than we do attempting to address the issues at hand. I realize I am an outsider, however I am here because I choose to be and because I love these communities that that I now call home.
I can see the potential for these small towns and can see the amazing abilities of so many people from the areas but I can also see that personal conflicts seem to be more important to many than the betterment of the areas in question. It is time for us to all come together and to create a home and a community that we can be proud of and that we can watch grow and prosper through the diligence of our dedicated leaders. I see some of our towns headed that way such as Logan and Madison but until the personal feelings are put aside the rest will become stagnate or worse.
The last thing I would like to say is that if you have a question or concern about any of the papers I have the honor of working with, Williamson Daily News, Logan Banner, Pineville Independent Herald, Coal Valley News or Coal Field Connection please feel free to contact me at 304-235-4242, ext. 2280, or stop and see me at any of our offices. I will be happy to sit and talk and hopefully become friends or at least to have an understanding of each other. I expect our papers to be, first and foremost truthful to the absolute best of our abilities, fair in every case and to offer all sides of any story when possible. If we have failed at that I expect you to call me to task so we can help to make sure those standards are always met.
Again have a wonderful 2017 and we are here to be part of the community and part of the growth that we should each expect. Thank You Ed Martin