Monday, September 8, 2008


What is Jeff Gauger and his employer The Repository and GateHouse Media, Inc. hiding from the Stark County public?

Those who read The Rep know of the heavy emphasis put on government providing "open access" to public records with greater emphasis during the annual newspaper industry sponsored "Sunshine Week."

Readers also know how much The Rep editorial board has thrown itself into powerful support of Republican Ohio House representative Scott Oelslager because of his singular work on pushing for legislative enactments mandating public access to public records.

The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has learned that back in April, 2008, Chris Borello of the Concerned Citizens of Lake Township voice-mailed The Rep's executive editor asking that he free a Rep reporter to give a written statement documenting an oral statement the reporter has made concerning public health issues surrounding the Industrial Excess Landfill (IEL) site in Uniontown.

Borello followed the voice-mail request with a written request, dated April 29, 2008.

On first take, a reader might think that The Rep is not being hypocritical (as an all out advocate for access to public records) because the request is for information maintained by a private enterprise employer which is putting the squelch on its employee.

On second take, a reader might say - not so quick.

Does a private person/corporation have a right to withhold information relevant to public health issues?

What's more, why hasn't The Repository itself taken this statement and investigated the issues it raises for the public benefit and for public consumption?

The more The Report sees of Gauger and the newly constituted Repository under GateHouse Media, Inc, the less confidence The Report believes the Stark County public should have in the the public reporting integrity of the upper echelons of The Rep's management and editorial board functions.

Does The Rep's refusal to allow its reporter to document what the reporter knows about public safety issues concerning IEL and its environment effects in Uniontown and beyond bother you?

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