Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sleeping Watchdog

Democrat and Chronicle editorialists today congratulate Mayor Richards and Police Chief Sheppard for cutting their budgets through steps such as reducing employee cellphone use, leaving vacancies unfilled, reducing travel and similar measures.   Good steps to take.   Well done, Mayor and Chief.

If Rochester had a quality daily newspaper, the editorial might have asked, "What took City government so long?"

The Mayor and the Chief now have done what most towns in Monroe County, and the County government itself, did years ago and continue to do regularly.   The County cut cellphones and cars about the time County Executive Brooks took office, and continued the by then established practice of leaving positions unfilled.   Most towns have done the same.

Yet, apparently the D&C, self-proclaimed "watchdog" of the public interest, lay asleep at its dinner bowl at the time.

We don't recall laudatory editorials about the County government or the towns, back when they cut the same costs, praising "needed changes that must become standard in managing taxpayer dollars" in places like the City.

Even more praiseworthy would have been that the County and most towns implemented these savings in budgets that didn't raise tax rates.   Whereas the City's budget that draws the paper's praise today increases the homestead tax rate by 2.8% and the non-homestead rate by 1.3%.

A noteworthy disparity in watchdog praise.   Explained by the fact that the County and most towns are administered by the party our biased watchdog doesn't much like.   They cut phones and cars and staff and don't raise taxes but get no gushing editorials.   When the City government finally catches up, and raises taxes while doing it, our watchdog wags its tail.

In an especially amusing touch, the paper praises the Police department for "using creative strategies ... to get around rules" in order to preserve a racially discriminatory hiring program.

Were a Republican County government found to be "using creative strategies to get around rules," our watchdog would be baying for investigation by the attorney general.

A sleeping watchdog, and a mangy one.


Anonymous said...

The Democrat & Chronicle is nothing more than a corrupt shill for the local democrat party.

Peking Humonculous said...

I honestly and truly believe that the D&C is a huge reason why this city is in such poor shape. The paper does the citizens as much of a disservice as the corrupt and lousy politicians it triumphs.

Anonymous said...


You do great work, but are wasting your time and losing your readership on this dead horse topic of beating on the D&C. This has become a "so what", at least for this reader.

With everything that you can cook up, please work on another recipe. I look forward to your next entree.


Anonymous said...

City residents are not a significant target market for D&C. Readership within the City has dwindled over the last decade; for many different reasons besides in terms of culture.

This has been proofed several times over the last several years, by Gannett's own marketing research. Better yet, just check the circulation numbers.

Discussons and critiques about the D&C are by definition "a platitude" and at the very best "beating a very dead horse."

Monkeytoe said...

"City residents are not a significant target market for D&C. Readership within the City has dwindled over the last decade; for many different reasons besides in terms of culture. "

Exactly - they trumpet the City Gov't as being great and county gov't as being bad b/c they want to convince the burbs to vote dem. That is why it remains important to call the D&C out on all of its b.s.

Yes, to those of us that pay attention, it is obvious. But to the average reader who doesn't pay much attention, it is not so obvious.