Several weeks ago I wrote a column, an opinion piece headlined “No more schools, churches, expansions?”
Palmetto Bay Councilmember Shelley Stanczyk apparently is really hot under the collar about the content, as she is out and about loudly voicing her opinion about my opinion. She certainly is entitled to do that and I support her right to express herself.
When the article ran I emailed her and asked her to send us her opinion, but she did not. In the political arena though, there are some guidelines that most reasonable public servants follow. Usually, when something is written about a public servant and they disagree, they will write a rebuttal, a letter to the editor expressing displeasure about what was written about them. Sometimes the letter to the editor may include some facts that contradict the opinion of the newspaper that published the initial story.
Ms. Stanczyk, instead of behaving in a manner becoming an elected official and calling or writing me to express her anger with my recent opinion piece, called the salesperson who was handling her $50 a week ad. After delivering a verbal tirade about her displeasure with the paper and saying that she was going to tell people not to advertise in the paper, abruptly told the salesperson to cancel her ad.
This is not the first time Ms. Stanczyk has canceled her $50 a week ad. The last time was when we wrote a story about the Farmers Market that was opening very close to her store. We wrote that Ms. Stanczyk should have disclosed in a very pubic way that the location gave her Antique Mall Y’all store extra exposure.
Just last week, Ms. Stanczyk got hold of another of our salespeople and again went on about her displeasure with the opinion piece, and stated she would “never talk to Grant again.”
If Shelley has a problem with me or the newspapers she should call me, text me, speak to me face to face — in short, have some sort of dialogue. Better yet, sending a letter to the editor would do just fine so she can voice her views to all.
What is interesting is that in all the stories we ran in the past four years that Shelley has been a village councilmember, all the puff pieces about how great the village was, those were just fine, and the stories where we quoted her were okay, too. When she wrote a column that we ran in the paper that was okay. All the photos of her in the paper were okay. Her political profile was okay. But now, after one column that she disagrees with, and we are not okay.
So, Shelley — Ms. Stanczyk, Ms. Public Servant — do the right thing; grab your boots, take a deep breath, remember that it’s only politics, and communicate directly with me — not with our staff members who really have nothing to do with your politics or mine.