by Michael Gale
We stand by the information in the article ‘Chilling Political Speech Costs Town $$’ on the front page of the June 15, 2022 edition of The Floyd Beacon. The information we were given on legal expenses was via word of mouth. We trust the source to have been essentially correct. If more exact numbers are available, we will welcome the additional details and will present them as an update on our website.
During the June 16, 2022, Town of Floyd Town Council meeting, Councilman Mike Patton said this on the record.
“I want to mention The Floyd Beacon specifically. First, thank you for putting your money where your mouth is. Kellean and Michael, I have a great deal of respect for each of you, for that very reason. I always, I also want to thank you for your choice of the reporter covering our meetings. Becky Howell continues the line of the rural [garbled] reporters like Wanda [garbled] and Doug – Doug Thompson. Providing what was happening factually and honestly not only on Wilson St but [garbled] Oxford.
It will come as no surprise to many of you I personally do not always agree with the Gales. Especially their recent editorial comment on the front page headline ‘Chilling Political Speech Cost Town $$’. Rather than taking the opportunity with their words to draw people to think really think they used their swan song to confuse and to divide. Not worthy of these two nor a man they hold highly, David Whitaker. Nor four other men, myself included to join all of us standing up together for Floyd and our great nation the United States of America.”
Then Patton offers a motion for the Town to look into purchasing better sound recording equipment.
The Floyd Beacon does not find any part of the article confusing. Nor should anyone find our defense of free speech divisive. If a person listened to the February 3 recording of the Town Council meeting, then what will be heard is Councilman Patton saying, “I just think that we all need to be aware of how much money that’s coming out the taxpayers funds to fund our defense.” So can you update us where we are at then? [Question directed to the Town Manager.]” The answer at that time was that there had been two bills from the Salem based law firm for about $2400 and about $2800.
We agree with Councilman Patton that if better recordings can be made of Town Council meetings at a reasonable cost to the people of Floyd that should be explored. We also encourage the Town of Floyd to provide access, via the Town website, to all of the recordings of official meetings within a day after the meeting was held.