A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I was aware of four people researching McHenry County College’s baseball stadium proposal from a financial and who did what when basis.
Right off the bat, let me apologize to the many who have done yeoman research on the environmental aspects of the proposal. I guess I was thinking of those investigating the secrecy of the project’s origins and how it will more than pay for itself
Now an anonymous friend of McHenry County Blog has sent me the following email that I think deserves wider coverage.
RE: “There certainly was no input requested on the baseball stadium part of the college’s master plan since McHenry County Blog announced its existence on March 12, 2007.” [From Misreading a Headline. Indeed in the college’s first letter to the city on March 6, 2006, I can’t even find a mention of a baseball stadium.]
AND-(removed from www.nwherald.com)
RE: “To the Herald Editors: Would it help if I quoted MR. Lowe verbatim? I can, as I have his comments on audio recording. It is news after all, and I think you should make your readers aware that there is an appearance of conflict of interest– that an MCC board member suggested that the NWH had a vested interest in the stadium. Not to disclose that relationship would seem to be an ethical violation and I’m disappointed to see that factual information (I have it on recording!) from these comments. “
RE: “Cal Skinner wrote on Sep 24, 2007 9:46 PM:
” I’d love to hear the tape, luckymortal1 “
The stadium is part of a minor league team plan that had been the apple in the eye of at least one McHenry County mover-and-shaker for more a couple of years.
Here is what I think luckymortal1 might be getting at.
A while ago, Northwest Herald Editor Chris Krug was announcing the “Northwest News Group Statement of Editorial Principles” and had them posted online. Number 3 is “Personal Interest Cannot Interfere With Our Acting in the Public Interest.” You can read it on their website. It says…
“We will not use our newspaper positions to gain benefit or advantage in commercial transactions or personal business for our families, our acquaintances or ourselves.”
“We will exercise news judgment independent of personal relationships,
connections, or activities of employees from any department of the newspaper.”
“There is no intent to unduly restrict staff members’ exercise of the rights and duties of citizenship. But the reputation of our newspapers is important to us all and could be compromised by our involvement in community activities and political campaigns. A full discussion of possible conflicts of interests is essential to avoiding public embarrassment.”
As regular readers of the Northwest Herald are obviously aware of, this newspaper has reported on and advocated for the concept of bringing a minor league baseball team before your mention of it in March, Cal.
The Feb. 24, 2007 Northwest Herald section “10 by 2010” had a theme as stated as “Our goals for making McHenry County a better place to live” and they listed as a top priority
“Get a minor league baseball team to call McHenry County home.”
A March 21, 2007 editorial titled “Team takes major effort” stated,
“For many, the crack of the bat is one of the sweetest sounds of spring. Unfortunately, that sound does not radiate above the college level anywhere in McHenry County. Minor league baseball does not exist in the county of more than 300,000 people. And that is a shame.”
From that point, the Northwest Herald has continued to push for approval of the MCC plan that bypasses voters and there own readers. A June 8, 2007 editorial titled “MCC tries for a homerun” declared “this appears to be a good deal for McHenry County.”
Another editorial from Aug. 4, 2007 titled “MCC’s plans should go on” stated “We see no reason why the project should not continue to move forward.”
In his Sept. 22, 2007 editorial column, Mr. Krug states,
“Here’s my take: A ballpark is a good idea … If a ballpark fits into the plan at MCC, makes the college more attractive to students, and the school can properly maintain and fill it with a decent ballclub, then it makes McHenry County a better place to live.”
That leaves one to ponder whether luckymortal1’s tape reveals Northwest Herald President John Rung’s personal ambition involving such a minor league team. Never mentioned in his publication are his connections to MCC through groups such as “Friends of MCC” or the McHenry County EDC.
Because of the newspaper’s ethics statement – shouldn’t the Northwest Herald come clean about the desires of upper management?
The February 24th catch is a marvelous one, isn’t it?
If you have information you would like to share about McHenry County College’s baseball stadium complex, please feel free to email it to McHenry County Blog. If you don’t want you name used, that’s fine. What we are trying to do is disseminate information not found elsewhere or not found in the format you may have developed.