The editor is, of course, correct about the decline caused by the anonymity of the Internet (No guts, The Daily Astorian, Aug. 26). He seems to be missing the point of a couple of things, though.
First, this is a very small town. With the partisan turn the nation has taken over the last couple of decades, it would likely be economic suicide for many people to come out of the shadows and confront those in charge of this city.
I assume that it is because the editor is a card carrying member of old boys network that controls this town that he cannot see the stifling effect that this reality has on the lives of those less fortunate. When we do not own our own newspaper(s), we need to be a bit more careful of the opinions that we espouse, lest we irritate the powers that do own said newspapers. A single lost order, or lost employment opportunity, caused by a casual comment could spell economic catastrophe to many individuals or families in a community this size.
I long for the day that I can retire as a crotchety old man, spitting out caustic comments about my various pet peeves without having to worry about the effects that my rants will have upon my family and my fortune.
Which brings me the second point that the editor seems to be missing: This is not a rich area, and every little bit hurts/helps. That is why it was so offensive that our hard-earned tax dollars were being spent to give the entire City Council a European vacation while the rest of us toiled away to pay for the trip. The same small gesture of goodwill to a sister city as seen by someone with the editors resources is seen as a lavish luxury to those who lack the resources to travel beyond the Pacific Northwest.
The city has already spent our money, now the editor wants us to waste a few hours getting cleaned up after work to drive down, find someplace to park, sit through a boring meeting where nothing gets accomplished, all so that we can make a carefully scripted three-minute speech that the council is free to ignore at their discretion? And he wants us to do this instead of, say, spending time with our children and families? Perhaps we will be rewarded with yet another rambling justification for the expenditure.
What we wont be rewarded with is any of our tax dollars being returned. What purpose could it possibly serve to further beat a dead horse? Perhaps The Daily Astorian can run a front page article about the next trip before it is too late to do something about it. If that is the situation, I presume more people will show up.
At this point, the money has been spent, the trip is over. Some of us actually have work to do.