To the editor:

South Burlington doesn’t need a city-owned, city-staffed, city-produced newsletter. There is an automatic built-in bias that will be present in all the reporting, no matter how much our so-called enlightened city fathers pontificate to the contrary.

As a former Zoning and Development Review Board member, I can attest to the fact that our city has made some absolutely horrendous decisions. I’m talking about decisions made both by city employees and the volunteer members of all the various committees.

If a citizen wants the facts, there is absolutely no substitute for unbiased reporting. The Other Paper doesn’t have an agenda. Its job is to report the facts. Op-eds are clearly marked as opinion pieces.

Due to COVID-19, it’s no secret that the Vermont Community Newspaper Group that puts out the paper has been in financial difficulty. They have shut down the Waterbury Record and laid off staffers. It’s obviously harder for them to cover all events. So now is not the time to kick an important resource when it’s down, and which our residents have read faithfully since 1977.

This ill-advised and ill-timed South Burlington effort can’t be called a newspaper. It has absolutely nothing to do with journalism. It’s more akin to Pravda or a corporate annual report. No matter what they write, it will have a pro-city spin. We desperately need an unbiased source for our news. I do not believe for one minute the city-spun propaganda that will find itself onto the cloud. Our city fathers must have their heads in the clouds to attempt this.

If you want to choose between a Ford, Chevy, Honda or Toyota, are you going to read the Honda news? Or are you going to read the test reports in an independent auto magazine? Don’t depend on big brother to watch big brother. It’s The Other Paper’s job to watch them.

Joe Randazzo

South Burlington

Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

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