Media Monday – February 18, 2013

The Daily Times Host Its First Community Forum
We’ve always been vociferous critics of Salisbury’s Daily Times, specifically its city reporting.  While the Daily Times appears to be in continual decline, like most (all) of its print siblings, the journalistic side of the paper is putting out some of its best work in years.  Do we agree with everything written by reporters like Jeremy Cox, Jennifer Shutt or Vanessa Junkin?  Of course not; I’m quite sure they wouldn’t agree with us.
Last night the Daily Times hosted its first community forum in relation to the 2013 Salisbury elections at First Baptist Church.  The focus of the meeting was council District 1 and the mayoral race.  The DT will host another forum on Thursday at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center for District 2.  While the meeting was sparsely attended, about 15 people, the DT’s Jeremy Cox, with the assistance of Jennifer Shutt and Earl Holland, ran a thoughtful meeting.  Citizens had the opportunity to express their opinions on a variety of issues and where able to prioritize those issues.
The meeting started off with a couple of folks, one definitely appearing to be a shill for Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton, attacking mayoral candidate Joe Albero and questioning his residency.  Cox quickly shut down the dual attacks by noting that the purpose of the meeting was to get people’s opinions on specific issues and to guide the DT as to what issues they should look into.  Cox noted that the question of Albero’s residency had already been looked into.

After folks had a chance to vote, three issues were prevelant (in order of votes cast):
  1. Attracting businesses / jobs to Salisbury.
  2. Bringing high quality (and / or “living wage”) jobs to Salisbury.
  3. Affordable housing.
Miguel Mitchell offered several good ideas regarding economic development, specifically in regard to Salisbury possibly taking part in a start-up business incubator.  G. A. Harrison pointed out that too much was expected from council in this area, because the mayor’s office executes policy.  One problem that Salisbury faces in economic development is that the last two administrations have failed miserably when it comes to issuing permits in a timely fashion and getting Public Works to respond to business needs.
Overall, this was a great first step in attempting to gather ideas and “take the pulse” of the city for the upcoming elections.
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  1. I am a fan until you align yourself with Joe Albero. I believe he is a egomaniacal bully. I like how you label your articles (that’s how I know it’s you on his blog.) Yes, I go there because I believe in the old saying, keep your friends close, ………… Anyhow, good article, balanced and informative. My mama used to say you are judged by the company you keep. Anyone who allows such unsubstantiated, personal attacks on ANYONE on his blog is not fit to be mayor of anything.

    • G. A. Harrison says:

      You certainly have the right to your opinion about Joe, me, or anyone else. My experience with Joe is contrary to what you believe.

      Now, I’d like you to think about something. You claim that Joe is unfit to be mayor because he is a bully and engages in personal attacks. What about Jim Ireton? Joe has stuck to issues and Ireton’s record as mayor. Jimmy has done nothing but attack Joe personally since the campaign began. Of the two, who is really fit to be mayor?

      • Frankly, I don’t believe either one should be mayor. Joe never misses a chance to throw in some comment about Rehobeth ( or was that you?) You can’t honestly believe he sticks to issues. He just uses all the comments to do his dirty work for him. But I do appreciate your response. Just one more question, though, why did you leave his blog as editor? For a long time, I felt you must have seen his true colors. But now, here you are back there with some regularity. At least you write about issues on which intelligent people can debate. Judging from the comments, there is no debate allowed on that site. And, just for the record, every one I ask seems to think Ireton has a lock on this election. I guess we move in different circles.

        • G. A. Harrison says:

          Fair questions all. I’ll try to respond in order.

          No, Rehoboth comment was not me. I’m also not sure that it was Albero. I would need a specific post and even then I couldn’t be 100% sure. Today there was a post. I went through the roof over it, but I also am 99% sure that Albero didn’t write it.

          Sticking to issues? Actually Joe has done a pretty good job at this given that Ireton has accused him of everything short of child molestation.

          Why did I leave Joe’s employ? Honestly, it would take me at least half a day to explain why. Short and sweet, Joe and I had different visions. If we were in show biz we would call it creative differences. Here’s the thing, SBYNews is a business. Joe’s business model works well. It makes enough money that he’s able to pay someone like me if he wants AND fund his charity projects. Criticize it all day long, it’s a successful business. People love him, they hate him, but they read SBYNews.

          I did not leave because “I saw his true colors”. Whether you choose to believe me or not, Joe Albero is one of the kindest, most generous people I know. He can also be arrogant and a tall drink of water to handle at times. Guess what that makes him? Human, with faults, just like the rest of us. He’s also very clever and very hard working.

          As for comments, it’s tough for me to respond. When I worked for Joe I had VERY little to do with comments. This was one area where our philosphies diverged. I believe in a rock solid, very inflexible comment policy. Joe is more fluid. It’s not I’m right and he’s wrong. It’s “I believe I’m right” and so does he.

          As for “just for the record” – You and your circle “think”. I can confidently state that I have more experience running successful political campaigns that you and everyone you know together (without even knowing who you or your “circle” are). Start off by defining “lock”. If Albero wins by 1, 100, or 1,000 votes I’ve done my job. If he loses by 1,000 then you are right. If he loses by 100 votes or less, I’ll probably blame myself more than I would blame Joe.

          • Don’t blame yourself if he loses. If he loses, it will be because people don’t like his product. He may be all the things you say he is. But as long as he allows the spew I read, he will be aligned with that philosophy.

  2. I forgot to say thank you for the candid answers. It is a breath of fresh air in the world of Salisbury “news.” And I wouldn’t be so confident about comparing our political experience. 🙂

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