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GCGCD plans to revise media policy
by Coy Slavik
Feb 19, 2013 | 683 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GOLIAD – The Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District discussed a policy that would require all media outlets to submit questions to the board in writing instead of interviewing board members directly.

At its Feb. 4 meeting, the GCGCD said the media would have to wait until the board meets to have questions answered. The board said it would review questions from the media and must approve the answers to the questions before they are the released to the media.

Victoria television station KAVU and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper requested interviews with the GCGCD after the Advance-Guard published a story in its Jan. 30 edition that reported GCGCD vice president Joe Kozielski lashing out at the Advance-Guard editor for reporting public information discussed among board members during open session at the Jan. 21 meeting.

The Advance-Guard published a story in its Jan. 16 edition detailing the GCGCD’s discussions during open session of its Jan. 7 meeting concerning options on how to inform landowners in the southern part of the county of high levels of arsenic that have been detected in their drinking water.

During the Jan. 21 meeting, Kozielski lashed out at the Advance-Guard editor.

“I can’t sell my property now that you put it in the paper,” Kozielski said before slamming the Jan. 16 copy of the Advance-Guard on a table.

“I would like to include in our policy manual a preferred methodology in communicating with the media,” GCGCD president Art Dohmann said at the Feb. 4 meeting.

“That gives us the ability to share specific and accurate data,” Dohmann said. “We’ve done this in the past, but we just don’t have it in our policy manual.”

“My next question is, who is going to be official spokesperson?” board member Raulie Irwin asked.

“A member of the board can write the response, but I think the response needs to come to the board for approval,” Dohmann said.

The board unanimously agreed to answer questions by KAVU and the Caller-Times by sending them a letter it will mail out to landowners in the southern part of the county to inform them of high arsenic levels detected in their drinking water.
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