Newspaper coverage misleads and omits | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
June 23, 2012 · Updated 10:50 AM
To the editor:
Is biased reporting the new norm for the Bainbridge Review, as represented by Mr. Kelly’s June 15 coverage of Robert Bosserman’s recent resignation from the city’s Utility Advisory Committee?
Misstatements and omissions found in the June 15 “news” article:
Council appointed “two controversial members” to the UAC. Apparently, for the Review, that describes committee members who are not endorsed and voted for by Bob Scales and/or Kirsten Hytopoulos. The city council’s final vote was 5-2.
“The city created the UAC after a group of water customers, led by developer Richard Allen, formed the Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance in early 2009.” This is incorrect. In 1999, the city added provisions to the municipal code requiring that a UAC be created. Yet, it was not until after the Alliance’s legal persuasion in 2009, that the city formalized the committee in compliance with city code.
The Ratepayer Alliance’s lawsuit “asked that the utility be transferred to a non-city entity.” That request has never appeared in the alliance’s lawsuit. The suit was, and continues to be, focused solely on requiring that the city comply with the law regarding utility rate setting and charging.
The UAC is “under the control of the alliance.” A city council elected by all islanders selects all UAC members – not the alliance.
Contrary to Mr. Kelly’s reporting, the alliance as a group has never “supported” any candidates. Its total efforts are focused on urging city compliance with state utility law requirements.
A point is made by describing Mr. Allen of the alliance, but Mr. Kelly fails to note Mr. Bosserman’s relationship to City Councilwoman Kirsten Hytopoulos. Bosserman is the husband of Councilwoman Hytopoulos’ aunt.
The only connection between the UAC and the alliance is that both groups are looking out for the interests of COBI utility ratepayers. These same ratepayers are being misled by careless journalism.
DICK ALLEN, PRESIDENT
Bainbridge Ratepayers Alliance