Guest perspective: Where was the Citizen Herald?

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest perspective from Town Meeting Member David Powelstock (Precinct 4) regarding the recent controversy over pay increases and promotions for two school administrators: Pat Aubin and Gerry Missal. The views and opinions stated represent the opinions of Mr. Powelstock.

David is a Town Meeting member from Precinct 4In what is less a retraction than the latest in a series of single-minded attacks on the Belmont School Committee, the latest editorial in the Citizen-Herald seems surprised at their own inaccurate reporting last week of the textbook budget being “slashed to nearly nothing.” Instead of acknowledging its failure to check its facts, the Citizen-Herald instead implied that the restoration of this line item was kept as some kind of secret.

But the one-time funds that ultimately restored the proposed cuts to the textbook budget (among other items) were reported by the School Committee to the Board of Selectmen at the BoS meeting of March 17 and again to the Warrant Committee at its meeting of March 19. An overview of the resulting budget, specifically including the restoration of level funding in the textbook item, was presented at the School Committee’s public hearing on the budget held March 25 and included in the distributed materials. All of these meetings were open to the public, including the press. You could even watch them on TV. Where was the Citizen-Herald on March 17, 19 and 25? Instead, the paper blames someone else–the School Committee, of course–for the lapse in their own reporting. (“In all of the paperwork gathered from meetings, requests, and materials online, nothing showed the textbooks funds being restored.”) The paper is losing credibility by the week as editorial opinion blatantly drives, and increasingly supplants, actual reporting of the news.

David Powelstock

Town Meeting Member, Precinct 4