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Sodus Town Board takes the low road

by Ron Holdraker
October 8, 2022

They did it under the auspices of “circulation and cost of legal notices”.   Of course, that was  just a cover for the real reason.

At their last meeting, the Sodus Town Board voted to change their town legal newspaper designation from the Times of Wayne County to the Lakeshore News.

The Times is by far the largest weekly newspaper in the County and in Sodus and probably the largest in Upstate NY. The Times has covered the Sodus board meetings and told the Town Supervisor that he could put in a column anytime he wished, along with any news he thought we missed.

In a private meeting (guessing executive session ?), the decision was made to drop the Times. Putting politics over what is best coverage for the people of Sodus, seems a bit... opinionated. Only after the fact, one of the  board members finally disclosed the real reason behind the switch...politics. Bottom line - they disagreed with my columns concerning former President Trump/MAGA and what he has done to the Republican Party. The Sodus Town Board, like many other local municipal boards in Wayne County is totally Republican.  My In This Corner political opinions have never affected our overall coverage and what appears in the paper itself.

Also Town Supervisor Scott Johnson made it known that he was upset when we (The Times) refused to run a letter from a Sodus attorney that endorsed a candidate for the Republican Primary for a county judge position. 

The attorney was a Conservative who could NOT vote in the Republican Primary. We have a firm policy that a letter of endorsement cannot be run by  someone who is ineligible to vote in a party primary, or municipal election.  (See the legend below that points this out) I have never held back on my opinions, regardless of topic. Yes, this has pissed off readers and subscribers in the past, but I stand my ground regardless. After all, it is my opinion.

To have an entire local town board vote to suppress an opinion is the very reason we have a democracy in peril. What has happened to Freedom of the Press? 

The Sodus Town Board member who disclosed the real reason for the change in newspaper designation added: “Don’t worry, I will still run my ads for reelection in the Times.”

Of course, we do NOT discriminate for political ads, never have, never would. Too bad the Sodus Town Board became pure opinion-minded elected officials willing to sacrifice their ethics.

Do I suspect more flack from other municipal entities? Don’t know, don’t care. I will continue to voice my opinion and not hide behind excuses and bull.

To Sodus Town Supervisor Scott Johnson, board members Dave Leroy, Don Ross, Chris Tertinek and Cathy Willmott, obviously you support politicized decisions. I urge the people of Sodus to remember these names come elections in the future.

By the way, the Times is the Republican Party’s designate for Wayne County as well as the vast majority of towns and villages. Why? Because we are the largest and oldest newspaper in Wayne County. With, or without newspaper designations.

My wife made the decision that she could no longer support some of the state and national Republicans and made the brave decision (on her own) to resign as the Walworth Town Republican Town chairperson and her 1st Vice-Chair position on the County Committee, a job she enjoyed and excelled at. She, however, remains a Republican.

I am sure the Lakeshore News will provide all the news and legal service the Town of Sodus needs in the near future...as long as they have no opinions.

The Times will continue all Town of Sodus coverage, including board meetings, because that is our job.

Next week:

 Hochul vs, Zeldin...who is worse

(My opinion)

Please Note: I was reminded by a reader that in the September 25 In This Corner I failed to attribute the PBS Frontline presentation on the same  subject of Famous Quotes.

This was included, but was omitted in editing and layout and should not have happened. I apologize for the miss and we will be more careful in the future. I have made it a priority to credit sources in the past. My Bad.

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