EDITOR’S DESK: Making news
A long-ago journalistic role model of mine (a radio guy, as a matter of fact) used to end his news shows with advice I loved then and still do today: “If you don't like
the news, go out and make some of your own.”
I think his words were intended for everyday citizens moping about dreary headlines, but once in a great, great while, under certain circumstances, they can apply to news reporters as well. I found myself in that mode this week. Listening to the discussion at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) board meeting on the 2035 Draft Small Area Forecast (see story on Page 7), I became aware that the regional agency's staff was not happy with the way citizen forecast criticisms had been trickling in near the end of a one-month "public comment period." Their spoken and written statements to the board indicated that reviewing and incorporating such input could impede efforts to meet their timeline for developing a final data model to apply to the year-2035 regional transportation plan.
These would be justifiable concerns, it occurred to me, were it not that PPACG had done next to nothing to let the public know that there even was a public comment period. I only found out about it by chance. There's a link on the PPACG website, and it's posted, if you know where to look, when you drop by - as I'm sure a great many of us do - the PPACG office. So I did something I seldom do. I asked Board Chair Wayne Williams if comments were still being taken, then went to the microphone and made my point - that maybe the citizens wouldn't have been so tardy with their comments if the comment period had been publicized. Afterwards, it was gratifying to see Williams direct the staff to make sure, from now on, to send out press releases in such cases.
I don't know, in retrospect, if that's really making news. But at least, in the future, it may help me report it.