Well, if you haven’t figured it out after reading the article, I will tell you at the end of this post.
Over a month ago, Argus city reporter Joe Sneva-spiffiness asked to do a profile article about Bruce. I told Bruce not to do it. I gave him several reasons why I was suspicious of the request, and it had nothing to do with the interviewer, it had to do with his bosses and the other city issues we were working on.
I also told Bruce NOT to do the interview without filming it (in which he did) mostly for his record, but just for reference once the article came out. The Argus allowed it, but asked we don’t post it until after the article was released. We hope to have it up sometime tomorrow, and we hope it will give you insight on how an article is researched and what happens to it after the editors get their manipulative hands on it. Like I said, you be the judge. But there are some glaring points;
“Anytime anybody comes in front of the council every week, week after week, and generally points out our inabilities to do our job well,” Councilor Greg Jamison said, “it does become somewhat tiring.”
As well it should . . . you should be doing your job better. But I won’t get into that. The headline itself is misleading, there are plenty of differences between ‘Gadflies’ and ‘Citizen activists’. But what is funny is when you try to call activists derogatory names, that only emboldens them. I actually told Joe that when he interviewed me about Bruce (never made it in the article). Activists want POSITIVE change, and while it may seem like we are bitching and whining, we are actually keeping the pressure on. That is important as an activist. It is also not personal or about individual politicians, it is about the process, the truth, integrity and transparency. I could care less if the mayor gets a haircut every 5-1/2 days, that’s his gig, but when working as an elected official he must ‘serve’.
Under the comment section of the article online, former Minnehaha county commissioner Bob Kolbe sums it up;
As a person who has served as an elected official I can only comment about those citizens who come to public meetings.
People only care about government when they have an issue on the agenda.
My perspective is that elected people need to value those who are willing to invest their time observing and commenting on meeting issues. It is far to easy to “slide” something into a public meeting and then those elected and the buerocrats will claim “it was a public meeting”.
Elected people need to listen, whether they agree or not. If taken to task, that person has a reason and They just mayÂ be right. Listening is part of serving.
Buerocrats are buerocrats no matter how you spell it as their purpose is to (serve) make elected people feel good.
Elected people are to serve the electorate with a heavy emphasis on SERVE. When elected people start to believe Their own public relation press releases and/or slighly use the pubilc tax money for their agenda, or reelection it is to take them to task and give them a retirement party!
While Bob probably had a lot of enemies while he ‘served’ he certainly understands (now) the relationship that should be occurring between elected officials and constituents, but if only councilor Dean Karsky could;
Karsky has been an acquaintance of Danielson’s for nearly as long as the neighborhood drama has been going on. He saidÂ he became aware of the nasty back and forth between Danielson and his neighbors within days of being appointed to the council in 2011 but heÂ chooses to stay out of the matter.
And doesn’t that last line by Dean say it all? He chooses not to serve.
But enough of the article about Bruce, let’s talk about the article itself (which I am completely baffled by how many people may have touched this copy before it hit print).
Ehrisman’s blog,Â SouthDaCola.com, where Danielson is sometimes knownÂ as “Cameraman Bruce,” is their outlet forÂ expressing frustrations with city government.
â€œWe both kind of take this as a hobby,”Â Ehrisman said.
I did say that, and I will give Joe credit for printing that quote correctly. But I do believe I informed him that we take our citizen activism seriously, and when I use the word ‘hobby’ I mean it is something I do on my own time because it is important to me and others. I don’tÂ do it for pay, I don’t take it lightly and I certainly don’t do it to hurt people (elected officials) personally. I do it because I feel I should, and I believe Bruce does it for those reasons also. If we are productive, progressive and create some laughs in the process, so be it. Laughing at ourselves and the process alleviates hate, which is only counterproductive to change. Some people have a problem with cynicism and sarcasm, but once you embrace it, you won’t jump off buildings in distress or gun down kids in a school. We must learn that identifying something as bad, onlyÂ creates solutions and makes us better.
So as I asked at the beginning, “What’s missing from this article about Cameraman Bruce?” There are only three people quoted in the article, and those quotes were framed around negativity towards Bruce (even mine). You would think after an hour and 45 minute interview with Bruce, there would be at least one quote from him. There wasn’t. Zilch.
That should tell us all we need to know about the integrity of the column.