Ah, the power of blogs. Funny how a little rant can get someone's attention.
FINALLY, the News-Times decides to actuaaly cover a local political story. You see, not long ago, I decided that it was time to put certain people on notice
and expose the various problems facing we have in Danbury and how these numerous issues are not written about in the local newspaper.
After followiing politics and covering the Ned Lamont race over the last eight months, I clearly understand the power of blogs can have on the media and politics. Over the past year and a half, I've seen my blogs grow in viewership from under 100 a day to well over 1000 per day and the topics talked about on the various state blogs were echoed in the mainstream media as well as in politicians' talking points.
In other words, a blog is a very powerful new tool.
I bring this point up because the News-Times picked up on a issue that I raised last month
regarding a request from the Democrats on the Common Council to add something on the Common Council agenda. The item in question was a request to form an ad-hoc committee to review how grants are given out to different organizations in the sity. This request from the Democrats was blocked by Mayor Boughton and the Republican majority and touched off a firestorm.
After my post on the issue, my inbox became flooded with emails from people thanking me for finally exposing something that the News-Times failed to report on and offered more tales of things happening in Danbury which is not being reported on resulting in people getting away with basically anything they want.
In reading today's News-Times, it seems like they got my message
and did a follow-up to my initial report.
Common Council Democrats are questioning how the city divides more than $1.25 million of taxpayer money among local charities and civic organizations.
The council's seven Democrats are concerned that the city's methodology is too simplistic, and they want to create an independent board to review all of the city's grant funding."We need a more comprehensive review of each agency and grant application to ensure there are no duplication of services and the funding is based on needs," Council member Tom Saadi said.
Currently, the mayor determines the funding for each agency based on grant applications during the city's budget process. He makes recommendations, and then Common Council committees review funding requests as part of reviewing the mayor's entire proposed budget.
In an Aug. 18 letter to Council president Joe Cavo, Saadi -- along with Democrats Benjamin Chianese, Fred Visconti, John Esposito, Paul Rotello, Duane Perkins and Lynn Taborsak -- requested that the Common Council, which has 14 Republicans, discuss and approve at its Sept. 6 meeting the creation of a committee to determine if a special grant review board is necessary.
Council Democrats submitted a similar request for a special committee in a letter last month. However, the letter's wording presented a legal question, and the request did not make it on the Common Council agenda.
The initial request said the neutral board would make recommendations for grant funding to the Common Council. But under the city charter, it's the mayor's responsibility to propose the budget. Therefore, the second letter said the neutral board would make recommendations to the city."We had a technical glitch, but now we are ready to move forward," Saadi said.
The article is fair but since the reporter is playing catch-up, they didn't have much to go with in terms of the initial reaction from the Democrats when they had their request blocked by the mayor and the reporter had to rely on interviews after everyone had a chance to react to my post.
Again, this begs the question, "shouldn't the News-Times have a reporter who's sole responsibility is to cover ALL the local political meetings?" Shouldn't our city's newspaper know what's happening in the city when it comes to local politics and not have to play catch-up to a blogger
The jury is still out on whether ot not the News-Times got the message since they failed to write on Ned Lamont visit to Danbury (NOT Newtown, but DANBURY at Democratic Headquarters which was attended by close to 100 people). One thing is for certain, if the News-Times failes to report on the real issues, rest assured that I will not let you down.