Letter to the Editor: Reader Challenges Characterization of Finance Committee

Submitted by Michael Seibert

What’s happening to journalistic integrity at The Citizen?  The Aug. 25 Finance Committee article propagates and sensationalizes unsupported innuendo.

Starting with the headline, who says Ms. McClung is a fiscal conservative? Whether or not she is, it’s unsupported in the reporting. It’s labeling by the opinion of the author of the article, Mr. Rosenberg.

Elevating this to a headline is unprofessional.

Incidentally, I have nothing but respect for Ms. McClung; I was the finance committee chair who initially appointed her, welcomed her, and I served with her on the committee. Her questioning was insightful and incisive.

The article begins with another opinion of Mr. Rosenberg’s that Ms. McClung was the most vocal fiscal conservative, which insinuates that the other members are less fiscally conservative or less vocal, and that this would somehow be relevant to reappointment decisions, again with no corroboration beyond the opinions of those who were not the decision makers.

I agree with Ms. McClung that there is not enough respect for differing opinions.

I would expect Mr. Rosenberg’s opinions in an editorial or in a letter, but not in journalistic reporting, and I ask The Citizen to be more assiduous in editing its reporting.

Note: Michael Seibert is the spouse of Bedford Finance Committee Vice-Chair Abigail Seibert.

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The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.

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Timothy Orlean Bennett
August 31, 2023 6:40 pm

If Ms. McClung is not the most vocal, she is definitely the loudest judging by how loudly she yelled “traitor” at the finance committee chair. As to claiming that Mr. Rosenberg says that her fiscal conservative views (which are easily verified from publicly facing sources) would impact reappointment, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Ms. McClung herself claims that her views may prevent her from reappointment.
As to calling a public comment, which the board was not given a chance to respond to, a “debate” in this letter’s title, this reader would challenge that characterization. Making an allegation of inappropriate behavior by a former town employee and alleging that that behavior has colored the reappointment process then leaving is not a debate. Neither is yelling at committee members at a meeting that was explicitly stated to be closed to public comment.

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