The Articles that appeared in the November 21, 2012 Hudson Reporter entitled “Union City Meeting, First Since FBI Raid, Lasts Only Five Minutes; One Angry Exchange”; and a November 25, 2012 Article entitled “FBI Raid Said to Be Related to March Indictment” lacked both fairness and accuracy.
The reporter who wrote both stories did not accurately portray the facts. In his story about the November 20, 2012 public meeting of the Union City Board of Commissioners, this reporter completely misreported what happened with respect to the public comment portion of the meeting.
I attended this Commission meeting and I reviewed the transcript of the meeting to be sure that my memory of that night was accurate. Mayor Stack clearly opened the meeting to the public and asked for public comment not once, but twice. The transcript of the meeting clearly records this. In fact, during the second opportunity for public comment, a resident did ask a question and was given a response. When this individual was finished commenting, no one else stepped forward to speak and the Mayor announced on the record that no one else had indicated a desire to comment and moved to close the public comment portion of the meeting. Again, no one from the audience responded to the motion and subsequent vote. It was only after the vote was later taken to adjourn the meeting that anyone raised the issue of commenting further.
If your reporter was not clear about what happened at the meeting, he should have taken the time to ask before he wrote his story. A simple request to the City Clerk, the Mayor’s office or me would have clarified what occurred at the meeting and avoided what appears to be a very misleading story by a reporter with an obvious bias against Mayor Stack.
If this was the only time this reporter unfairly authored one of his stories about Union City, it would certainly be forgivable. However, this is not the only mistake that he has made. No one in the Union City administration is aware of any link between the recent FBI activity at the Community Development Agency and the guilty plea of Bryant Venegas. Linking the two incidents based upon speculation without any confirmed factual basis whatsoever is irresponsible.
While your reporter can certainly print corrections to these articles, I am afraid that his objectivity has been clearly compromised and he should not continue to cover stories about Union City unless he writes them for the editorial page.
If I can assist in providing any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Corporation Counsel, Union City