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Mayor: Midway coverage misleading
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Editor, Let me start by saying the city of Midway is most appreciative of the Coastal Courier’s coverage of our city council meetings and for the most part they are accurately reported.  
However, I do wish to express my disappointment and to correct a very misleading article referring to the city of Midway, which appeared on the front page of the Feb. 28th edition. To quote the headline ... “Midway looks to traffic fines for additional city revenue.” This headline was completely misleading and could not be further from the truth.
At no time during the reported meeting was there a discussion about traffic fines having to do with anything regarding the city of Midway’s revenue. The first part of the article was okay, but it was followed by some creative reporting and writing. I quote from the article, “City officials were particularly interested in the fines.” Councilman Woods, and only Councilman Woods, asked a question of Chief Ramos. That question was what happens when the Georgia State Patrol writes a citation within the city limits?
A simple procedural inquiry. Chief Ramos explained those offenders would appear in Midway’s City Court with all fines payable to the city of Midway. Councilman Woods then queried, “the whole fine comes to us?” He also asked, but was not quoted, “Was the fine shared with the state?” Chief Ramos then explained again that fine was made payable to the city of Midway. Then again Councilman Woods questioned, “The whole fine?”
Councilman Woods was aware, when a citation is written by a city officer, there is normal distribution of the fine by percent to various agencies to include the state, and thought there may be a difference when the state patrol was involved. The reporter in this case completely misleads the reader to believe Councilman Woods and other council members were already spending the “additional city revenue” while in fact; nothing could be farther from the truth. Councilman Woods’ inquiry was no more than procedural inquiry.
I personally believe there is no room for creative reporting when it involves the serious business matters of the city. For some of our citizens, the newspaper is their main source of news and keeping our city’s news plain, simple and factual should not be an option but should be one of the most important responsibilities of the reporter.
I would like to make one thing perfectly clear to the citizens of Midway ... the one and only reason the city of Midway worked so hard to establish the police department was simply for public safety. It is not foreseen that there will be any additional revenues to spend on anything other than the police department.
Don Emmons, mayor
City of Midway
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