Some people have been wondering why we did not cover New Castle Mayor Chris Frye’s inaugural ball.
We have heard all the speculation — that we are racist, that we are anti-Republican.
None of that is true. We have been very supportive of our new mayor and his bid to bring the city of New Castle into a new, fiscally responsible tomorrow. And in case you have not noticed it yet, this paper will be straight down the middle when it comes to politics.
We will give you the facts and you can judge for yourselves — although we might throw in our two cents, too.
We will continue to cover Lawrence County in general and New Castle in specific, celebrating the good, pointing out the opportunities and reminding the powers that be that this area is on the move and that the families who live here deserve nothing but their best.
What we do not cover are balls — inaugural or otherwise — or most private ticketed events like that.
And the reasons are pretty basic. The coverage is really about photo opportunities, and we do not do that.
But the reason we did not cover this particular ball is a little more complicated.
While we are glad the mayor is proud to be the new chief executive of this city and that he and his fellow Republicans and bipartisan supporters wanted to mark this occasion with a party to celebrate, we have mixed feelings about the mayor throwing an inaugural ball in a city that is facing Act 47 status.
It just sends the wrong message to the families who are living here who are not sure about their futures and who cannot afford a tuxedo, a fancy gown and $130 for two tickets.
But that being said, the mayor deserves credit, too. He might have had an inaugural ball, but he made it count.
Frye made sure the celebration was in his own community and turned it into a benefit for local charities — in New Castle.
So the 400-plus people who attended the event to mark his election made a difference in their community, too.
That is how you have a party, and do some good, too.
The final results are not in yet, but when they are, we will cover the donation. We think that is a great start to an administration that is putting this community first.
Now, back to the mayor.
This is a historic time in the city of New Castle.
We have never had a black mayor in this city – let alone a black Republican mayor.
We will celebrate his election — and what he accomplishes during his term — by making sure you know about the work he is doing to make your community a better place.
And that includes a significant feature about his first days and weeks in office. We want you to have every opportunity to get to know the man you put in the mayor’s seat. We think he wants you to know him, too.
We will point out when he succeeds — as we already have — and point out areas we think are challenges or places where there is still work to be done.
We are going to hold him and the city council to the Sunshine and open records laws, and insist that city business be transparent.
Frye was not elected because he was black — or Republican. Voters chose him because he had the best plan to move this city forward and he ran his campaign with integrity.
We will cover him with the respect he deserves — just as we would anyone who sat in that seat.
That is how we make sure we do it right.