McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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07.26.07: Letter to the Editor: Smith responds to blog coverage

Cher,

Because of recent entries on your Blog, I feel it is necessary to respond.

I would like to address some of the quotes and references that were attributed to me.

I want to make it very clear I am speaking as an individual, not for the School Board or any of the other members.


“Thursday evening I spoke with Joedy Smith during the council meeting and expressed the concern I spoke with to Linda about that morning. Joedy said that he knew. For that reason, he told me that no more than one of the school's board members could attend any one meeting.”

I've looked through the exemptions. The problem is that if the Sunshine Law applied to the school board members and they knew it”


I didn’t tell you I “knew” and for that reason no more than one school board member could attend any one meeting, I did agree with you, that because of our discussion that night there maybe some question to the sunshine law. I did agree with your concern that maybe two school board members should not be at any one meeting. I repeated this to the administrative staff at the school, if this got passed on to the rest of the school board members I can’t tell you. If another school board member would have showed up at the meeting I was at, I would have shared that concern with them.

“Smith said there would be another meeting in the future in the Civic Center or another large venue so more people could attend.”

“Joedy Smith said at Wednesday's meeting the school officials were planning a larger meeting later so everyone could attend. But each meeting would be different, since different residents, school officials and council members participated in different meetings. Therefore, not all residents have the same access to the issues discussed.”


I plan to ask the board to have such a meeting.

The idea of a larger meeting came from my discussion with you that despite our mass mailings to individuals, posting on the blog, putting up flyers, standing up at a town meeting and encouraging people to seek out a meeting, or asking that they call the school to find one in there area, or that putting flyers on residents doors and just stopping several people on the street and asking them to go home and tell there neighbors. Despite all those efforts, maybe, just maybe, someone did not hear about what we were trying to do. It was in those discussions that I realized that not only could we officially post this meeting, making really sure no one could say they where somehow excluded, we could bring together all of those smaller meetings. and address some of the issues that might have come up. Instead of just inviting, we could offically [sic] ask the Town council to attend.


“Several people, including Joedy, pointed this out to Lee and Eva Jo last night. They chose to stay. I did what I do and wrote about it.”


I did point out my concern about possible sunshine violations because I am sensitive to the sunshine laws. Plus, you warned me there would be an issue! I should have never doubted, - Eva Joe and Lee handled themselves in a very professional manner. My concern was that this would be seen as a discussion between them. In the end my concerns were relieved.

“My hope from this reporting is that future meetings held by the school board as they work through the issue of building a school are handled in a manner consistent with the Sunshine Laws so those meetings don't hinder them or threaten their future projects”

My hope is that you would have included how you have witnessed the school’s sensitivity, willingness to learn about and comply with the sunshine laws.

My hope is that you would have included how receptive I have been to your concerns about those laws,

My hope is that the residents of this town come together and make an informed decision about the future of The Mcintosh area public school.

Did I as a school board member learn something? You bet ya! Thanks,

Let me assure you I will continue to be mindful of my duty to operate in the sunshine,

Joedy Smith

Mcintosh resident and

Member of the Mcintosh area school board

posted by Cher @ 11:41 AM,

8 Comments:

At   July 25, 2007 6:54 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

I think that this is just another example of how the blog is bias and not 100% accurate.

 
At   July 25, 2007 7:40 AM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

If that were true, why would I run this letter at all?

 
At   July 25, 2007 8:15 AM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Ok as for the blog is bias and not 100% accurate. Get off it the blog has been the only thing anywhere near the truth in this town and you are one of those people writing bad about it because of? Personal gain,a buddy or something to hide and dont want to be exposed in a later date? I only guess this but am willing to bet im close. Get off of it! The Blog is harmless its the people who read it you have to worrie about.

 
At   July 28, 2007 7:46 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Why shoot the messanger? The blog records most of the meetings she attneds, and she makes the audio available. So how the heck can she be biased?

Wake up children, i'd hate to count on any of you to read real literature. Mr. B,,,,,,, i hate trying to remember how to spell brilliant. yuk yuk

 
At   August 15, 2007 1:46 PM     ,    Anonymous John Marvel    said...

The blog serves a great purpose and the editor has shown great courage in providing editorial coverage of the town. McIntosh's residents are getting a great service, given it's not on the regular radar of papers in Gainesville and Ocala ...

 
At   August 15, 2007 7:19 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Thanks Marvel.

 
At   September 19, 2007 6:33 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

Just curious, does Mr. J. Marvel live in McIntosh? No, he couldn't possibly, he has a voice of reason.

 
At   September 19, 2007 7:06 PM     ,    Blogger Cher    said...

Marvel is not from McIntosh. I believe he is living in California.

I took in-depth reporting from him, when he was a visiting UF prof. He's the one who originally assigned me an in-depth story about McIntosh. The blog came after his class ended out of the reporting I'd done that semester.

Before he was my prof, he was the executive editor of ESPN.com.

 

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Editor

Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

About This Blog

The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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"A Popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." - James Madison, 1822

"Personal journalism is also not a new invention. People have been stirring the pot since before the nation’s founding; one of the most prominent in America’s early history was Ben Franklin, whose Pennsylvania Gazette was civic-minded and occasionally controversial." - Dan Gillmor, 2004, We the Media

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