April 28, 2005

Dryden Hotel reopens; duck or not duck?

This week's issue of the Dryden Courier leads with the reopening of the Dryden Hotel, starting with a party last Friday night and returning to its usual schedule this week. Closed for four months because of a flood from the sprinkler system, the Hotel has been repaired and reopened. The mural of Dryden has been retouched where necessary by the original artist and a new homestead added to it, a copper ceiling added, and a new, longer bar installed. Upstairs rooms were renovated.

Sharing the front page is an article on Saturday's upcoming a cappella Night of Songs, featuring the Ithachords and Dryden High School's Beyond Measure, as well as POPS, Alakazam, Chapter 2, the Extension Chords, Ascending Heights, and Last Call.

On the editorial page, in "Perhaps not a duck?", the Courier continues the strange retreat on their golf course story that reporter Tony Hall began at the end of discussion of the subject at the March Town Board meeting. The editorial states that the article "which triggered much of the controversy, was accurate, and, yet, misleading," without actually saying what in the article was wrong or misleading. A very strange set of paragraphs seems to be their conclusion on the matter:

What never existed here is the board's fear that Perkins, who has been their attorney for years, would act dishonorably. That means something else was in the room, something commonly known as trust.

We extended our trust, in this case, to the town board members and supervisor Steve Trumball, who failed to bid on a financially insolvent golf course, perhaps a very wise decision. The board, in turn, extended their trust to Perkins, a signal that, perhaps, he was the only attorney who should have been in the room, not the other way around.

Unfortunately, that conclusion doesn't really parse. It seems to boil down to "the board trusted Mahlon Perkins, and kept him in the room," without addressing what happened afterward. The entire editorial seems to me to chase after the wrong set of questions, never quite attempting to answer Mark Wheeler's simple question: "Where's the beef?"

The beef is pretty simple: Information that the board deliberately discussed in executive session leaked, and leaked to parties directly interested in what they were discussing. That makes a mockery of the very reason for holding executive session in the first place. If the board doesn't care who hears about the price they're bidding for real estate, they should hold the session in public, not share its contents with favored parties.

The Courier also overlooks the recent Journal article on the subject, in which Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull took responsibility for the leak, and seems to understand "the beef":

"I divulged what I was authorized to bid. I'm still learning that part of things," he said. "This is something that people have talked about for years. If things get out, seems to depend on who's in executive session and who they talk to later. I don't think it's supposed to be talked about."

The Courier has a nice feature on County Legislator Martha Robertson's re-election announcement last week, complete with discussion of who was there, the tabulation of votes for spending last year (45KB PDF), quotes from Robertson on TompkinsRx and the number of inmates in Tompkins County Jail, and Natan Huffman's endorsement.

There's an article on the $136,442 per year the Dryden Central School District could save on energy costs by reducing its consumption through closing doors, organizing shifts, and replacing windows and light bulbs.

In sports, there are reports on the post-season future of the Dryden baseball team and the return of a strong Dryden track team.

Posted by simon at April 28, 2005 12:11 PM in , , ,
Note on photos