Letter published by The Columbus Dispatch
As I sat down to write a letter about the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio and its board’s travel spending, I thought, “What’s the use?” It appears that boards, as evidenced by this pension board and the Columbus Board of Education, pretty much can do whatever they want, no matter how many people complain about it (“Board goes ahead with Hawaii trip,” Dispatch article, last Friday).
But then I read how Mayor Michael B. Coleman is stepping up and laying down the law to the school board (“Coleman issues ultimatum,” Dispatcharticle, Tuesday). Finally, the board is being held accountable. So something is happening.
Without The Dispatch, no one would have ever heard about any of this. It could have gone on forever.
At least the newspaper is exposing how corrupt and unregulated these entities can be. The public cannot react to what it doesn’t know. This is what newspapers do. Without them, we truly are left in the dark. When people ask, “How much does the public really need to know?” my answer would be, “ Let the public decide that.”
I don’t think The Dispatch needs to be a tabloid, but I do think a newspaper should be seeking stories rather than being fed stories. Corruption at the local level is becoming a huge problem because there are no newspapers in many towns today to even question what is being done with public money.
Although people complained for years about the speed trap in New Rome, it took The Dispatch to shut it down.
We are lucky to still have a local newspaper, and I hope we continue to have one for years to come.
- PATRICIA M. NOLAND