"Not eating chard. That's what all those weirdos eat at their stupid picnics on the Hungry Ghost lawn." -Nina

January 29, 2008

Asking Questions On Elder Vision, Patte Shaughnessy, And Gene Tacy

Way back in November of 2007, Northamptonist ran a story exploring Mayoral Candidate Gene Tacy's assertion that political motives unfairly kept a profile of him out of Elder Vision's election issue.

Since then, attempts have been made to get clarification from Patricia Shaugnessy, Director of the Northampton Council on Aging which publishes Elder Vision, on the decision not to include Gene Tacy in their 2007 election issue. Patte was quoted in the Gazette as having noted that Gene was not included in the issue because of his write-in status, though as Gene pointed out, Patte herself was included in a past issue while herself a write-in candidate. The following is a chronology of email exchanges between myself and Patte from November 2007 to the present, attempting to get clarification on this matter, but as of yet, not being able to do so.

From an email dated 11.06.07:

Hello Patty.
After hearing about Elder Vision's decision not to include Gene Tacy in it's special election issue, via Gene himself talking about it publicly, I looked into the criticism he had about the issue. He claimed that Elder Vision decided not to include him because he was a write-in candidate, per your statement in the Gazette, but that in recent years past, Elder Vision did include write-in candidates. And it appears that is true, as I looked at the issue Gene referenced, from 2003.

So I wanted to ask you for comment on that, so as to help clarify why there has been an apparent policy change in regards to including or excluding write-in candidates from this issue, as I would like to write something about this on my blog, http://northamptonist.blogspot.com.

I imagine that there are very valid reasons why this discrepancy exists, and would like to know if you would offer your reasoning for those.

Specifically, when did Elder Vision change their criteria for who can be included into this issue, and why was that decision made?

Thanks for any info you can provide Patty,
I sent a follow up email four days later. On 11.15.07, I received an email from Patte.
Dear Paolo,

My apologies for the delay in responding but your email but this has been my first opportunity to respond to you. I have been informed that Eugene Tacy and several senior citizens are pursuing a lawsuit against me as a City of Northampton employee and have at this time been advised that I should have no comment regrading this particular matter. At the appropriate time I would welcome the opportunity to respond. I thank you for your interest in the matter and I give you permission to add my response to your blog.

Sincerely, Patricia A. Shaughnessy
Director for the Northampton Senior Center and Council on Aging
Many weeks later after being informed that Gene Tacy had dropped his lawsuit, and after waiting for a response from Patte, but understanding quite possibly that it wasn't on her mind, I followed up with another email to Patte in January. One week later, on January 15th 2008, I followed up again, having not heard back from Patte at that time.
Hi Patte.
Have you received my last email? If so, will you be able to respond at some point?

Thank you for your time,
Twelve days ago, on January 16th, Patte responded,
yes I received your email and yes I will respond.
I haven't heard back nor have I sent any more emails. I've already received an email from someone at City Hall with BIG RED CAPITAL LETTERS after apparently exasperating them with my inquiries on another subject, and am loathe to do the same here. Though the question still remains,

"Specifically, when did Elder Vision change their criteria for who can be included into this issue, and why was that decision made?"

LABELS: elder vision, citizen journalism, city government, local politics, public policy