Friday, April 13, 2012

Comments were misinterpreted

In the March 23 coverage of that week's Hailey City Council meeting, what I said with regard to the Woodside project was: "We have spent $900,000 on the Woodside project without moving a teaspoon of dirt." My comments referenced the "efficiency conundrum" presented by the Idaho Mountain Express in its coverage of Blaine Manor. Citizens supply a considerable amount of revenue to local government, which is often spent without commensurate benefit accomplished on behalf of citizens.

I never expressed any objections to the City moving forward with the Woodside project and did not "question the wisdom of spending taxpayer funds on the project," as was reported in the Mountain Express on March 23. The speaker before me was opposed to the project, and I indicated that I shared his concerns over the city's finances.

In my "heated exchange" with the mayor after he misrepresented my comments, I insisted that he "not put words in my mouth" and that "I support the Woodside project." Again, never in my comments did I express any opposition to the Woodside project. I simply identified multiple projects where citizens might question the "value" relative to expenditures. In these tough economic times, we should be insisting on the maximum bang for the bucks.

Everyone processes communication through their own personal filter. Resulting interpretation often reflects inaccuracies or an absence of relevant context. We are only human, after all. I felt in this instance it was important that my comments not be distorted, whether intentional or not.

William F. Hughes


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