by Marion Marks
Note: response to my letter published in the Shreveport Times, July 27, 2013 (originally sent July 18) -(the link is on page A06 of the July 27 issue at www.ShreveportTimes.com, however getting there may be difficult to non subscribers, a copy of the letter is below.)
This letter was written nine days ago, and I must admit I thought after the response I made from the inquiry by the Times to my questions of mayor’s attempt to bury his opponents by brute force, it would be long lost in the vapor of news of the Times vacuum. However, after the arrival of the Friday episode of the John Settle article concerning the questions of the mayor’s health, I felt a new slant of Shreveport interest in motivational public relations from the Times for the mayor may force some buried issues to reappear.
Ah, the mayor needed a new angle to make his case that his policies could not be disclosed as “political charades” and public sentiment could rally that the mayor and his causes were being persecuted because any member of the public dared question the mayor for not being transparent! How dare his health be public business? Why would anyone question the mayor’s honor about his surgery? How dare citizens question any motivation that is “protected?”
If a mayor or any elected official has treatment of any nature that affects the ability to serve the citizens, it is the public’s right and responsibility to question. I believe, anyone has a right to privacy of health issues and HIPAA serves a real purpose. But, God forbid, if a treatment or condition does keep the best interests of citizens from being served, citizens are due an explanation.
As an advocate for disclosure, if an official were hampered by a condition, such as an addiction that deprived those served of best judgment, should not the condition be revealed? An operator of a vehicle on the highway who is drunk cannot be allowed to continue to drive. What of an elected official at the wheel of government? Service to the public must be seen in a similar light.
Citizens of other communities were, in essence, telling me that they felt the mayor’s actions were equivalent to public drunkenness. Spending public money and making the charade of this issue is obscene. Shreveport citizens are being dragged through the equivalent of public bars. Citizens are paying expenses that the city council, one judge and a vocal group of citizens, and I add myself to that list, feel is not proper.
What they are saying and I reiterate, IT IS NOT ABOUT A DOG PARK! Shreveport has more important business that is being neglected as we take oxygen from the public room. The mayor needs a better fight, and dog parks, personal surgeries or weight loss programs are not in the arena.
The Times has lost leadership, like the city of Shreveport. If nine days after I wrote this letter it now reappears, no one is running your paper. So people read this because it is amusing? Perhaps. It, and the humor or sarcasm and bite of blogs and Facebook keep us entertained. So print the humor, print more of anything to continue addicting readers to return for lack of real investigative journalism. You may yet sell a paper for human interest, because you are not educating readers to seek truth.
Note: Marion Marks is one of many sponsors of the Forward-Now.com blog. He does not take full responsibility for the content, but he handles much of the website issues. He does assist with editorial content. Double click the image below to read Times Letter.