First of all, thank you all for your calls, letters and comments on this issue. We appreciate your feedback and look forward to continuing this discussion with you over the coming weeks.
Over the last few days, several of you have commented about our decision not to speak with Darlene Burcham or members of City Council in our preparation of our May/June cover story. Although we stand by that decision, we understand and respect your concerns, and we offer the following reasoning for our actions:
First, the facts presented in our story and in the continuing coverage found on this blog all came from public record or from the University of Virginia’s Weldon-Cooper Center for Public Services. We believe these facts speak for themselves and thus required no comment from city government. Additionally, while no one at city hall or city council has ever talked about it, we doubt that they are unaware of Roanoke’s position of the highest taxed city in Virginia with the lowest household income.
Second, the views and positions of city government and council are chronicled daily and weekly in The Roanoke Times and on local radio and television. Likewise, the proceedings of city council are broadcast on Cox Cable. The city also staffs a public information department charged with presenting the city’s views in the media. Twice yearly, that staff creates and publishes its own Citizen magazine extolling the achievements of city government.
In conclusion, we believe the city’s perspective is well-and oft-told and instead devoted our limited space to an analysis sans rhetoric.