A recent post on Gardner City’s Facebook page came under criticism by Adam Cox, Gardner resident, who told the council during the July 1 meeting that the post, dubbed “Fact Check,” was an unwarranted attack on local press.
Cox, who spoke during the public comments section of the meeting, said the post purported to correct information published in The Gardner News even though no one in the city bothered to contact the newspaper for a correction or retraction.
The city, in an unprecedented move, published the post on June 21 accusing the newspaper of publishing incorrect information about the cost of the demolition of the city’s police station. The post said that the information was then used in a comparison to the cost of a demolition job by the neighboring Edgerton city whose cost was considerably less. The “Fact Check” was unattributed and was taken down after about five hours.
Cox told the council that the post was in poor taste, and it would probably never have happened had the city’s public information officer been consulted.
“I hope this is a learning experience for the city,” Cox said.
Neither Steve Shute, mayor, nor any council member commented on the remarks by Cox.
The post came on the heel of a previous controversial post by council Lee Moore, council president, who characterized a constituent’s concerns over representation on the council as bigoted. The ACLU weighed in on Moore’s comments, characterizing Moore’s post as bigoted.
Both posts were pulled down after overwhelming negative comments by residents.
At press time, city officials have not made official apologies or statements regarding the posts. No executive session to discuss personnel issues has been held. No clarification regarding chain of command for use of the city’s official communication has been issued.