Elected officials in Santa Ana are not the only ones who fear local bloggers

Power of the blogs are a concern to local communities.

Your typical beat reporter needs to have a good rapport with council members and city management in order to be in the loop for news stories. While there are some reporters or members of the editorial staff who take these same people to the wood shed, they are few in number. In the past few years technology has created a P.R. problem that they cannot cleanly solve. Bloggers. Citizens who spend their free time advising the public of issues that are not subject to council or city staff approvals.

Our city manager recently sent me four emails asking me to basically change one of my posts that I still feel was correctly stated. As such it was not revised.

The following text is from a Mission Viejo based blog that exposes their concern of our reporting. This comment was just published on that blog.

“Council members have indicated to the blog’s publisher they don’t like getting negative reviews. It’s quite easy to avoid being criticized by following a few suggestions: 1) be honest, 2) keep your campaign promises, 3) do your homework and read the packet before coming to the meeting, 4) represent your constituents and not outsiders or the city staff, 5) protect homeowners’ rights and property, and 6) do the right (moral and responsible) thing in the best interest of Mission Viejo residents. One former council member is often mentioned as a good example: the late Norm Murray. Norm was eventually defeated for reelection, probably because he was dedicated to doing the right thing rather than being popular.”

PS: Norm Murray passed away recently. He was one of two mentors in my early political ambitions in Mission Viejo. I do miss our many discussions on policy matters and what should be the best interest of our city. Norm opposed our city declaring a huge section of Mission Viejo as being “blighted” in the same year that we won an award for being the “finest planned city in America” in 1992.

Our responsibility to you the readers is to present articles that are not subject to any filter, be it an advertiser of the blogs or any elected officials.

About Larry Gilbert