Is the watchdog watching? |

Is the watchdog watching?

The press has long championed and gloried in its role as the public’s watchdog, holding authority accountable, both business and government. The Union appears to be side-stepping its vital duty as watchdog.

For example, The Union has side-stepped the “disappearance” of Grass Valley City fees charged to mitigate development projects. There has not been an explanation of the lack of results from the use of mitigation fees presumably paid by developers. A recent announcement in The Union by the Nevada County Contractor’s Association (Jan. 20) identified very large sums paid to our local governments: did the community get its money’s worth?

Other side-stepped issues include: What is the relationship between sponsors of developments and local government? To what extent are developers disproportionately represented on local government committees and commissions? Are planning laws, rules, and guidelines interpreted more favorably for big developments than for individual homeowners? How closely monitored are the relationships and business interests of our public officials for “conflicts of interest,” such as real estate transactions, investments, etc?

More investigative, thoughtfully analytical reporting on such issues would be welcome from our watchdog, The Union.

Nancy Tavares

Penn Valley

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