Friday, June 17, 2011

Covering local government - there's always a surprise lurking

READING CENTER, Town of Reading, New York, USA - What was supposed to be a routine, go-to-meeting, take-notes-at-meeting, write-story-of-meeting evening turned into a major imbroglio that sent me to the law books, put me in contact with a lawyer specializing in open meetings and forced me to turn up the heat on some local politicians to get some answers.

And those politicians? They don't like heat very much.

Actually, not at all.

Chairman of the board
I can't report too much about it in this space right now. I filed a story, photo and video with a local newspaper (as their on-the-spot correspondent). But the story is basically that a long-planned presentation got canceled, precisely at the moment it was supposed to start.

Not very polite to the presenters, some of whom had driven some distances to attend and hear about the dangers of storing propane in salt caverns. Politics involved? Hoo-boy, yes.

When the presentation was canceled by the planning board, many of the attendees opted to head off to a Brewfest where money was being raised for their cause - keeping the propane storage project from being built.

The Brewfest was certainly better than going home and crying in a beer, for sure.

I retreated home to start the grinding process of contacting people for the story. But while I missed out on the Brewfest, I had Dr. Reisling to keep me company.

Tuesday, I will post the story, video and photos here, along with some commentary about how I put the package together.