December 22, 2014
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We welcome Cushman’s spin

Since the Beacon started running Bob Cushman's bi-weekly "The Taxpayers Spin," more than 60 columns have been published in the editorial pages of the newspaper. The former Ward 1 Councilman's observations have covered a range of topics, but for the most part he has focused on city government and schools, with an emphasis on the budget, taxes and the legacy costs of pension and health care benefits for retirees. Bob attends City Council meetings and is a regular among a group that follows city government and is vocal in expressing their opinions.

Last week, I decided to end Bob’s column. The decision was not made abruptly or without careful consideration. The editorial pages of the paper have long reflected my belief that the newspaper should serve as an open forum for opinions and ideas, covering every side of the issue. That has not always been popular, but the Beacon will continue to do that. Bob’s comments have a place in this public discourse and the newspaper will continue to print them.

Why then, not in a column?

First, as a column, the appearance is that the newspaper endorses what he is saying. In fact, we have had some lively discussion over the editing of the column. I would add that Bob has made the column available to the paper at no charge and he has never been a paid employee of this company.

Second, and this is more the issue for me, Bob is no longer an observer of news – he has become the news.

He often speaks at city and state meetings and testified before the joint finance committee of the Senate and House reviewing state pension plan reforms. He is a regular on radio talk shows and has been featured in other news media.

As we go forward, I welcome Bob’s views in the editorial pages of this paper and will call on him for his spin on developments so important to this city and its future. His input is valued and so is yours.


Comments
10 comments on this item

Not the first time he got canned...

To SteveD: why the edge?

Edge?

Mr. Howell why don't you (as a journalist) research who is telling the truth on pensions. It would be what some people would say is your job.

This newspaper has an enormous number of photos and puff peices on Avedisian. He complains about Cushman and you end his column the next week.

Your family must be proud.

Patientman - did you not read last weeks article? Its pretty clear who is telling the truth. Oh its not what YOU want to hear? Sorry but its the truth.

Steve, What I want to hear?I read the article ad the article on golocal.prov. The preponderance of evidence supports Cushman. I would prefer that the local paper did its job.I would rather that we had a stable tax rate.

I would like to believe that everything is ok.

There hasn't been any evidence that is true. Keep drinking the kool-aid.

They are both assumption articles. They choose different assumptions. I (yes ia am allowed to believe wnat I want) believe from what I know that everyting will be ok. Three out of four plans were in the 80/90's % until Gina "make up numbers as I go" Raimondo came on in. Guess what, she thinks we are going in the right direction also. WOW. You believe what you want and Ill do the same. Cushman in a Liar that was my point.

View this documentary on the subject:

Warwick's ticking time bomb - employee retirement benefit costs

Copy this link into your browers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd9ikdZ-NIs&feature=g-upl

Mr. Howell...when are you going to demonstrate journalistic ethics? Mr Cushman's column was a breath of fresh air from the pro administration bias your newspaper has always demonstrated.

When are you going to ask Avedisian to back up his statements with facts?

Mr. Howell you know the rate of return and mortality tables the Mayor uses are wrong but yet you continue to print the Mayor's erroneous figures. Why did you continue to doubt Mr. Cushman's numbers and yet publish the Mayor's?

If Mr Cushman has become part of the news will Mr. Hazel White's column receive the same fate because Mr. Hazel White has become part of the news also.

good riddance!!!!

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