Transparency is ImportantPeacemaker Editorial Staff / November 10, 2017
Greensboro voters have elected council newcomers Michelle Kennedy (At-Large) and Tammy Thurm (District 5) as representatives for the next four years along with incumbents Yvonne Johnson (At-Large), Marikay Abuzuaiter (At-Large), Sharon Hightower (District 1), Goldie Wells (District 2), Justin Outling (District 3), Nancy Hoffmann (District 4) and Mayor Nancy Vaughan. Win or lose, all of the candidates deserve a hearty thank you for sharing their positions on the issues and for their desire to serve the community.
As this election concludes, some municipal candidates and their ardent supporters were able to maintain positive campaigns driven by issues, while others veered into the land of negativity. One such campaign involved incumbent Nancy Hoffmann (seeking her fourth term on council) and her challenger, Gary Kenton. Hoffmann has spent most of her career in the textile and home furnishings industry. She campaigned on a need to create innovative ways to attract new businesses, support the city’s existing small businesses and guide our city’s next generation of business and community leaders. Hoffmann was seeking her fourth term on city council. Her challenger, Gary Kenton is a retired adjunct professor and community activist. He ran on a platform focused on accountability. Kenton’s campaign was laser sharp on government officials being more accountable to the people rather that developers and other business interests. Local residents who attended the political forums or read the Peacemaker understood the positions of these two candidates.
Here’s where things got off the rails. Last week the Peacemaker was inadvertently placed in the middle of the Hoffmann –Kenton feud. We printed a letter to the editor which praised Kenton while being critical of Hoffmann’s associations with various Greensboro realtors and developers. The problem with the letter was not its content. By Monday, the day before the election, our office received a call from a subscriber who wished to tell us about this letter to the editor. We learned that the letter was written by Laura R. Linder, the wife of candidate Gary Kenton. This fact was not disclosed by the writer. Had we known that Laura Linder was Gary Kenton’s wife, her letter to the editor would not have been published.
Our editor called and spoke to Laura Linder, Kenton’s wife. The editor thought she was very apologetic. Linder said she did not know that she should’ve revealed her true association with the candidate. Then she said that she should have known better. the editor agreed, especially since she holds a doctorate in of all things – Mass Communication.
Failure to disclose one’s full identity is unacceptable. Linder also shared with our editor that she and her husband have been long time subscribers of the newspaper, more than 25 years. That’s good.
Linder may have believed she was helping her spouse, who was a good candidate, but if anything, her actions cloud his message. Transparency is important to us and our readers. The record is hereby corrected, henceforth and forevermore.
Written by the Peacemaker Editorial Staff: Afrique I. Kilimanjaro and Gabriel Fraire.