Endorsements focus on getting down to business

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 2, 2003

It's not personal; it's just business. Too often people tend to personalize issues and opinions. I suspect today's editorial is no different.

The "Our View" found on this page will likely anger a number of voters in Ironton and Coal Grove.

It shouldn't. The words merely represent a collective opinion. Our purpose is to help our community get down to business.

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Contained in the piece is our list of endorsements for candidates in the city of Ironton and the village of Coal Grove.

Consider it the newspaper's yard sign, as it were. In fact, it is the only such sign you'll see at the newspaper.

The opinion represents the belief of the newspaper's editorial board consisting of Managing Editor Shawn Doyle and myself.

Our endorsement does not mean we wish ill will or have a dislike toward any candidates. In fact, the opposite is true. We believe strongly in our system of democracy and the power of the people's vote.

"You all should keep your nose out of politics," one person told me shortly after last year's endorsements for county offices.

Obviously, I disagree. Would anyone want to read a newspaper that was too afraid to possibly offend someone by offering an opinion? I wouldn't.

So why does the newspaper choose to endorse candidates?

Contrary to what some folks think, it has nothing to do with stirring up trouble or seeking to "fan the flames" as it were.


Community newspapers, such as The Tribune, serve a critical role in our lives. The newspaper is often in a key position to keep abreast of what's going on in the areas it serves. Despite the public forums and all of the campaigning, too often voters rarely get a chance to sit down with the candidates face to face in order to discuss the issues.

That's exactly what we did as we prepared the endorsements. With the exception of Coal Grove council candidate Phil Roush, with whom we were unable to meet, we sat across the table from each candidate and discussed the issues.

And before we sat down with the candidates, we did not have an agenda, and we certainly didn't have our minds made up prior to the meetings.

From walking through each candidate's platform to digging into the details of how they plan to implement their plans, we tried to cover the spectrum of important topics.

It's perfectly all right to disagree and we encourage you to do so. The worst thing we can have during an election year is apathy. On Tuesday night, when all the votes are counted, the people will have spoke. At that point, the bad feelings need to be put aside. It's time to get down to business.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445 ext. 12 or by e-mail to kevin.cooper@irontontribune.com.