Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Newspaper Holds Candidates Forum

About two dozen Saline residents turned out Tuesday for a City Council candidates forum organized and sponsored by the newspaper. While I was disappointed in the low turnout, I hold out hope that more people will become informed about the local candidates running for office Nov. 6 because the forum was taped and will be broadcast on local cable station 18. In addition, video of each candidate and what they had to say at the forum is featured on The Saline Reporter Web site.

Staff Writer Sue G. Collins deserves special recognition for organizing the event. She arranged for us to rent the space, have the forum televised, drafted the questions and notified all of the candidates. She also, bless her heart, made sure the candidates had everything they needed, including bottled water. She made it so easy on Staff Writer Brian Cox and myself that all we had to do was show up and do our jobs -- Brian to write the story and me to capture video. Brian should be lauded for covering the event while technically on vacation. Now that's dedication. He plans to post the story on our Web site under breaking news as we didn't have enough room in this week's print edition to squeeze it in, in addition to being past deadline. We're so lucky at The Saline Reporter to have both of them on staff.

While our video coverage of the event features introductions by each candidate -- incumbents Alicia Ping, Glenn Law and Terri Sibo-Koenig, and newcomers Patrick Ivey and Sal Randazzo -- as well as their answers to specific questions, we can't post everything from the two-hour forum. That's why it's best for voters to attend these informative events. I learned a lot about each candidate, and I don't even live in the city, so I won't be voting. But the knowledge I gained will give me a better understanding of how local government works and the personalities involved as the council moves forward.

One question from the audience was about Saline's so-called "parking crisis." I had to chuckle about that as I have never had a problem finding parking in Saline or, funny enough, in Dexter, when I covered that town, where people there also complained that there wasn't enough parking. I give props to the three incumbents who all asked, "What parking crisis?" Both Terri and Alicia said they were not convinced there is a parking crisis, pointing out that they would know because they live downtown. Terri said she is out and about in the downtown area four to five times a week, on weekends and weekdays, all times of the day and night. She said she would be thrilled, as would the merchants and local leaders, if all the spots were filled, but it's just not the case. She also took the opportunity, on video and local cable, to urge residents to shop locally and support downtown businesses. Good for her to take advantage of the venue to promote local businesses. They need all the help they can get during these tough economic times in our state.

Sue also took advantage of the cable broadcast to promote the newspaper's Web site, blog, local videos and efforts to regularly post breaking news on the site. She also encouraged viewers to write letters to the editor and utilize the community newspaper as a forum for open debate and discussion. Her efforts to help promote the newspaper come from within and appear, to me, to demonstrate a real passion and strong belief in the importance of a free press in society. Kudos to her and all of our readers who support our efforts and are actively engaged in their community by not only keeping up on local events, decisions and discussions through the newspaper, but also by participating in the community.

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Blogger Sal said...

Clearly it pays to pander to the Saline Reporter.

Guess Who

October 17, 2007 at 5:06 PM  

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