Source: The Corydon Democrat

Spencer Township Government Center
October 24, 2013 | 09:17 PM

I am confused. Ms. Spieth-Saylor published a "news" story on October 9, 2013 giving a brief background to this situation and an overview of the October 1, 2013 meeting and today she is doing an "Opinion" piece about the same story?

Before addressing the lack of information of the October 9 story, it seems to me to be a conflict of interest for a reporter to do a news piece, then place herself in the position of speaking for the Corydon Democrat newspaper about the same issue. Even if it is not an ethical violation, it does not give one confidence in her ability to be fair about this issue in the future. (Or the Corydon Democrat's editorial board for that matter.)

This editorial purports to back Mr. Satterfield's career as Trustee and lauds his great accomplishments. They are impressive. But they seem to count for nothing to this newspaper nor to many people who have attacked Mr. Satterfield personally. ( Apparently someone even hired an attorney and filed a complaint of some kind against Mr. Satterfield, but that was left out of both of these stories so we don't know the basis of the action.)

This editorial/opinion (I believe Ms. Speith-Saylor is on the editorial board at the paper so this should be considered an editorial) is a mish-mash of statements, opinions and the writer's opinion that this should be resolved - and I got the impression she feels Mr. Satterfield is the problem.

Yet in her very own editorial she states that no one representing Spencer Township wants to stop the Seniors from having their meals there, including Mr. Satterfield. So wouldn't an intrepid reporter be able to find out what is going on and tell the public??

Since the author was also the "reporter" for the October 1st meeting, (story published on October 9) maybe the reason the Seniors and residents of Spencer Township don't know what is going is because the story reported out did nothing to educate the public.

The author was at the meeting, and since the story included quotes from Board members that apparently were made at the meeting so why didn't Ms. Spieth-Saylor take that opportunity to ask Mr. Satterfield questions and put his quotes on the record? Isn't that the function of the press, the Fourth Estate, to question our Government and inform the people?

The story from that meeting includes a statement that "many people left out of frustration" but we don't know how many people were there to begin with and what number "many" represents. What does that tell anyone? In the news story the author called the October 1 meeting a "public hearing", but was it a public hearing or a budget meeting? If it was a budget meeting, and Ms. Spieth-Saylor's report said it was a public hearing wouldn't that make the public feel they were being treated badly when they didn't get their questions addressed? Wouldn't that cause animosity and distrust?

It seems to me that the "news" story about the October 1 meeting was filled with hearsay, opinions, the author's rather prejudicial adjectives characterizing what others said and no apparent effort to get the facts on the record from the Trustee.

Ms. Spieth-Saylor ends the "opinion' piece with a hope that everyone sits down and resolves this then says: "As an elected official, I don't think that is too much to ask of Satterfield." Well as a reporter for the County's only local paper, I would turn that around and ask that Ms. Speith-Saylor, or ANYONE who works at the Corydon Democrat go out and find out what really happened and inform the public. As paid members of the news media, I don't think that is too much to ask ...

Marsha Flock