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What appeared to be a PR move by the local newspaper, to help shore up support for the county manager and the commissioners, would not have seemed so odd, had they not pulled the original article, waited a day and a half, rewritten the headline/title, and publish it again. The different headlines didn’t change any of the facts. Nor did it change the truth of a very high unemployment rate, no jobs around, and a very sluggish economy. In times of plenty, I have no problem, as most people agree, with a person being rewarded for a job well done, but the past few years have been anything but times of plenty.

The other downside of this episode is that it was done in a non-transparent way, and that causes people to become skeptical. I’m sure there will be others who will attempt to sell this story to the people, and explain to all the know-nothings, like me, how wonderful this was, to heap such bountiful blessings on this individual, because he threatened to retire. Well, if his Assistant is ready to step up to the job, then what’s the problem? We’re listening, commissioners. One thing is for sure. I don’t think it was the author of the original article who changed the title from “Watchdog group scrutinizes county manager salary: Commissioner: It wasn’t a bonus but a deserved salary increase” to the revised title of “Officials: Watchdog group barks up wrong tree on Cleveland County manager’s pay”.

If the Watchdog group was barking up the wrong tree, then the lapdog of the press won’t hunt.