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My mistake…

Publisher Rob Ritchie's latest rant

In my last Rob’s Rant, regarding City Hall, I included the line…”How about something that picks your craw, just drop us a line and we will see what we can find.”

Perhaps this was a mistake, as I certainly did not expect such a response and on so many varied issues.

It is becoming obviously clear to me that we have a potential cesspool in the whole confines of City Hall and administration.  

I find this disheartening. We now have to deal with issues that involve people and their performances, keeping in mind we may like them as friends and fellow Moose Javians. It all boils down to…when we the taxpayers are ponying up the bill, then everyone should be expected to do their jobs.

It seems this city refuses to communicate with the public, believing keeping us in the dark will keep us quiet, and it appears to me when Brian Swanson in particular has inquiries of administration, that they tend to respond incoherently, hoping he will go away. But perhaps the problem isn't Swanson, this disrespect shown by administration brings me to boiling point.

The other question brought to light by a reader, was why do we always pick on Swanson, why is the vote always 6 for 1 against. I think the answer is pretty simple, Brian is the only one who always asks questions, and perhaps the most qualified of the bunch. I wonder which person who sits in those lofty chairs I would want to run my business or finances, and as put in a letter to the editor, if you have six heads always nodding in agreement with no intelligent input, then why are we paying them, bobble heads would cost us less money.

We are working to make every effort to change that attitude in City Hall, or hoping the public will infiltrate change come election time.

The city’s communication specialist seems to believe that social media and radio are the only mediums that are effective in conveying the city’s message, and ignoring the fact that Moose Jaw Express and Moose Jaw Today deliver the news to over 35,000 readers every week and over 300,000 page views monthly respectively and we have the largest media footprint in the region and the third largest in this province. 

My beliefs are founded on this because the city communications department sends out media alerts and PSA's (public service announcements) at a whim’s notice, flying by the seat of their pants, believing only 12 to 24 hours notice of major street repairs, etc. is acceptable to the general public. I have appealed to the Mayor about this, but again to no avail, our readers and the citizens are entitled to better communication. A large sign that impedes traffic on 9th Ave is not communicating and I doubt anyone else could put a sign that close to the road way. 

A paid independent company facilitated a local survey for the Moose Jaw Express and it shows that more people (67%) still read the paper than use online locally, and a whole 19 per cent are engaged with our local radio station; more people listen to CBC and car dealers push Sirius, so the writing is perhaps on the wall, but not for this newspaper.

Newspaper is also the only medium that is held to a higher standard of honesty and integrity. In fact CNN and other online web pages, blogs and radio, are not held to the same standard; that is why print needs to be accurate. It is final and can not be changed and that is the reason newspapers are called “the public record.” Our job is simple, seek truth and report it. It might also be the reason the City of Moose Jaw avoids it. So where do you want to get your reliable true news from?

If the city and its communication department don’t know within 24 hours of a major work within the city facilitated by their works department, then they have bigger issues than just getting the word out to the community. To me, that is just blatant disrespect for the citizens who pay taxes here; keeping them in the dark, and don’t tell me that everyone clings closely to their radio or waits by their cell phone for that next social media ding for what could be a one-time brief announcement from our city, seriously. 

It’s time for the citizens of Moose Jaw to take our city back from those that seem have little concern for the community but only for their own pocketbooks. 

There are so many pressing issues here to get to the bottom of.  At the Moose Jaw Express/Moose Jaw Today, we have committed to do this and need someone with some time to do research. So, if you are retired/semi-retired, and have some time on your hands and want to do a little digging and help expose any wrong, secret or corrupt dealings within City Hall, and to help correct it, then we invite you to contact us; there will be compensation for your research time. The hope is that, together, we can have a City Hall that works for their taxpayers rather than running a derailed train on their own agenda. 

This city still belongs to the people; and our public servants need to serve instead of being self-serving. If we [the city] want to run with the big boys, then we need to be seen as a city that acts with honesty, integrity, respect and offers a solid foundation for businesses to build-on and prosper.  

It is said, ‘As business goes, so goes the community.’

Rob Ritchie, Publisher  

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