Posted February 28, 2014
Writing in the Guelph Mercury, former reporter Scott Tracey speaks out of his mouth both sides at the same time.
First, he called GrassRoots Guelph an “upstart group” for daring to present a petition to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing requesting an audit of the city’s finances and operations.
Then he tells us “I am fine with organized opposition to any politician or political group, but let’s not pretend this group is politically neutral.”
Thanks, Scott, for your permission to organize and oppose the administration. One that has had complete control of the public’s business and has conducted most of it behind closed doors for the past seven and one half years.
And Scott, in my opinion, you were complicit in the administration’s efforts to force its agenda on an unsuspecting public.
As the former beat reporter covering the city administration, you consistently supported the policies and political agenda of the Farbridge administration. But your keyboard fell silent when it came to any criticism of the Farbridge regime.
In fact, in my opinion, if you had done your job and covered the city business telling both sides of the story, there would probably be no need for a citizens group to take up the responsibility that you abdicated.
Your comment about a legally organized citizens group challenging the administration only emphasizes your unwillingness to investigate and report the whole story.
Your statement that GrassRoots Guelph is not politically neutral is the first true statement you made in your freelance submission carried in the Mercury. GRG never said it was politically neutral. What it said that it was non-partisan. Heck, you would have been welcome to join if you wanted.
The final part of your piece makes a mockery of journalistic integrity. In it you tut-tutted the city’s CAO for claiming the city’s financial position is “strong and getting stronger”, but providing no evidence or attribution.
Isn’t that how you practised your craft for these past seven years covering city hall?
Scott, GRG has worked hard with the guidance of professional financial analysts to parse the official financial statements produced by the city for some four years. The Ministry officials confirmed that the numbers in the petition are accurate.
Why the Minister decided not to proceed with the audit does not change the facts. GRG is still considering the offer by the Minister to have her officials facilitate such a meeting and the terms and conditions.
But have faith. GRG will continue to inform the citizens by presenting accurate facts about how their business is being conducted by the Farbridge administration.
In my opinion, they and you have a lot to answer for.