Tribune still needs to get it right

For the second time in the past few months I find it necessary to correct the Tribune and set the record straight regarding presentations I have made to the Madera City Council.

A few months ago, I admonished the Tribune for making several factual errors and misquoting me regarding an earlier report on water rates. Unfortunately, I am compelled once again to make corrections regarding my report addressing City of Madera management compensation at the Wednesday, Aug. 1 meeting.

Following are some of those errors and/or incorrect quotes:

1) The Tribune attributed to me the following terms/phase of “padding of salaries” and “pad earnings”. Terms I did not use or imply.

2) “… Manfredi said in his report were some 16 percent higher than similar positions in other Valley cities….” Again, this was not said. The previous City Administrator’s salary was reported to be 16 percent higher, a few others were higher; but most were lower.

3) The Tribune was completely mixed up in reference to Management Leave not appearing in the budget. The reference was to medical insurance for retirees not easily being identified.

4) Information as to my preference for the City of Fresno not being in the study was misquoted. My reference was to an earlier statement I made regarding not including Fresno or Chowchilla.

While I realize the subject matter of governance and related issues of administration and budgeting are sometimes difficult to digest; it is not only the misinformation and errors that are upsetting. The Tribune seems intent on slanting its reporting and editorializing in its news articles. The editorial page is the proper arena to express the newspaper’s concerns and objections regarding City governance and leadership. Let’s keep to the facts and strive for accuracy in the news stories. And please, do not misquote me or misrepresent factual information I took copious steps to clearly present.

My lengthily and in-depth report, maliciously documents where city higher wages are not always easily identifiable and certain fringe benefits may cost more than realized. The language of management contracts and array of benefit and payments for leave-time cash-outs need to be addressed.

Transparency can certainly be improved. But for the Tribune to frequently use terms like “secret meetings” for properly notified and reported “Closed Sessions” is not only improper but inflammatory.

— Ron Manfredi,

Advisor/Consultant to City of Madera