22 February 2007

is the roy administration silencing its critics?

via www.thedeadpelican.com the town talk posted an interesting story (see link) to its website tonight. ron roberts was the program director and morning disc jockey for local radio station kqid fm-93.1. apparently, mr. roberts made, in some bureaucrat with the city of alexandria opinion, disparaging remarks about the demise of the annual riverfest celebration and was fired from his job for it. according to the town talk "Roberts said he “basically backed up” a Feb. 17 article in The Town Talk in which organizers said the festival had suffered from competition for sponsorships with the newer, Alexandria-run Que’in on the Red." we dont know for sure but we assume the saturday 17 february 2007 town talk article is this one "RiverFest won't be held this spring; future shaky."

the town talk reported that mr. roberts said: “I spent a lot more time talking about how well done (RiverFest) was, what a good job they did.”

then, the next thing mr. roberts knows is that at 9:30 am city of alexandria, director of community services, lisa harris (telephone 318.449.5056 email deborah.jackson@cityofalex.com) personally appeared at the offices of cenla broadcasting, inc., to contend that mr. roberts "comments had angered city officials." then at 11:00 am, mr. roberts was called into the office of cenla broadcasting, inc. president taylor thompson "and was told he was no longer employed."

we didnt hear mr. roberts broadcast this morning so we dont know if his comments were worthy of his being fired over but we do know that this is highly questionable behavior on the part of an executive with the city of alexandria. this should have a chilling effect on anyone who is thinking about "commenting" in any forum about city policy. is the administration trying to send a message that if you say something they dont agree with that you or your boss can expect a knock on the door? just who does the city think they are anyway? so what if city officials dont like some of the things that are said about them! after all they work for the citizens. is the city officials there to serve the citizens or to serve their own interests by silencing and intimidating any who dare question their policies?

alexandria, louisiana mayor jacques roy

the town talk reported that all references to mr. roberts had been removed from the kqid website but thanks to the way back machine at archive.org we were able to find an archived copy of their website.

q93 at archive.org link