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Mark Ferguson Press Release

Press release read by Mark Ferguson during the May 14 called meeting of the County-Owned Property Committee:

My comments tonight are in writing. Why? So I can hand it to the reporter for the Herald & Tribune.
This is necessary because of the bias of this newspaper. Why am I making this statement? I will give you an example.
As chair of the CIA Committee, over the last two years we have saved the county over $1 million on health insurance. The article covering this is buried in the paper, and of course, no quote of statement was attributable to the committee because it was good news and it did not serve the agenda of the paper, which is to make the commission look bad.
Now in contrast, the recent article on the archives was front page and the paper couldn’t help but put in a joke made by me. Of course, it was not repeated word for word, but paraphrased to say “that a person doesn’t have to be smart to be a county commissioner.”
I don’t recall the paper reporting joking comments, unless it is used to put the commission in a bad light. In contrast, the Herald & Tribune does not question the mayor’s administration, and its coverage and editorials are limited to the statements and opinions of his administration.
The Herald & Tribune no longer serves its readers, but the Eldridge Administration. They also serve as the administration’s attack dog against the county commission. Everyone in this room, in county government and every reader knows that the paper is on a mission to show the administration in a good light and to cast a bad light upon everyone else they perceive as opponents of the mayor. That’s the Herald & Tribune’s mission, but it certainly is not journalism.
So let me be very clear to the Herald & Tribune reporter. It is the duty of the county commission to provide office space for county operations. The county commission supported and funded the creation of a county archive. Over one year ago, the county commission assigned space in the county buildings to accommodate the county archives. Since then, the bookkeeping department, the purchasing department and the administration’s offices have not moved, although space was provided for them in the courthouse.
The county commission has received no report as to why this move has not occurred. You will not read this inconvenient truth in the Herald & Tribune. Why have the offices not moved? The Solid Waste Department, the Election Commission and Assessor moved into their office spaces. So here we are, operating our archive from one small office. That is unacceptable. Of course, maybe the administration has shared its plans with the Herald & Tribune.
I suggest we make no recommendation tonight to the county commission, until we receive an explanation for these delays. We need a report from the administration on the status of the county archive building and why no action or information on the office moves in the last year or why the bookkeeping and purchasing departments and administration offices have not moved to make room for the archive.
Once we know the administration’s plan and recommendations, then we can make a decision. The county commission can assist this administration and we will assist the administration, but there must be good communications for that to happen.