To my friend and colleague Joe Page, a former City Councilman and one of the most decent, intelligent, and fair-minded people I have ever encountered:
There aren’t many people in the City of Alexandria, Louisiana who have dedicated their entire professional career to public service.
Joe Page is, without any doubt, an exceptional leader and public servant. He’s soft-spoken man who possesses a deep and abiding belief in his own community. Yesterday, at the conclusion of a press briefing, he spoke his mind as a citizen, and I commend him for his courage, his tenacity, and his integrity.
Like Mr. Page, I didn’t clear my remarks with anyone. I speak as a taxpaying citizen of the Great City of Alexandria.
Yet, somehow, without any attribution, this is what Town Talk reporter Bret McCormick writes about Mr. Page’s statements:
His speech raises questions about what should and shouldn’t be aired over Channel 4, which by law is supposed to be prohibited from broadcasting political speech.
I’ve met Bret McCormick a handful of times. Like me, Bret’s also a blogger who operates his own personal website on the side, though, unlike Bret, I’d never exploit his own personal website for a story.
I am certain I will catch some criticism for saying this, but again, Bret reported Mr. Page’s “speech raises questions about what should and shouldn’t be aired over Channel Four.” Who raised those questions? Where were they raised?
Mr. Page has just as much of a right to express his opinion as Gayle Underwood, a woman who speaks on camera in almost every publicly-televised meeting, and no one would ever dispute her right.
Except, of course, for Gayle Underwood.
Gayle, THIS IS NOT ANY TYPE OF OFFICIAL RESPONSE, but for crying out loud, you’re on Government Access Television more than anyone else outside of city government. Anyone and everyone who pays attention to city government has heard from you. (And you know, Gayle, I don’t care if I sound like a spoiled or entitled brat, because that is not who I am: But a couple of years ago, during a public meeting, I remember a wonderful and kind elderly woman addressing the audience about the problems associated with slum lords. The woman never singled anyone out or named names, but I will always remember your bizarre reaction, just as I will always remember your strange reaction to a heartfelt e-mail I sent to you).
Gotta love Alexandria.
Thank God we have people like Joe Page.