LaBore finds no ‘great joy’ in working with the press

By Mike Anthony

LaBore finds no ‘great joy’ in working with the press

It’s certainly no secret that Crestwood Ward 1 Alderman Richard LaBore doesn’t have much use for the press, no matter what he claimed during his unsuccessful mayoral campaign last year.

In April 2002, Alderman LaBore unsuccessfully challenged then-Ward 3 Alderman Jim Robertson, who was elected mayor. During a candidate forum, Alderman LaBore was asked if he would be willing to talk to the media if elected mayor.

“Absolutely yes … I’m very comfortable working with the fourth estate. I even have part of that fourth estate in my own background as a writer, author, editor. I would have no problems and a great joy in working with all the media of this area,” he said.

But Alderman LaBore did not find it “a great joy” in dealing with the Call nearly three years ago when we were covering the settlement of a lawsuit a developer had filed against the city. In fact, on two occasions, he declined to comment to this newspaper regarding the matter, leaving citizens in the dark about his actions.

Though he wouldn’t talk with us, he publicly criticized our coverage.

More recently, the Call has reported exclusively on some financial “anomalies” uncovered by city officials that have led to a revised fiscal 2004 general fund budget that projects a shortfall of $112,010.

At the July 22 Board of Aldermen meeting, resident Jerry Miguel had questions for city officials about the situation based on an article he read in the Call and Mayor Robertson responded to Mr. Miguel’s comments.

Before Mr. Miguel returned to his seat, Alderman LaBore said, “I just wanted to thank Mr. Miguel for coming up and asking his questions. Your best source of information about anything that goes on in the city is here with your aldermen of your ward, this board and this staff. There is no other source of information that’s either accurate or complete enough that you deserve …”

Given his comments, it’s obvious that Alderman LaBore has no understanding about the role of a free press in our society. If not for a free press, Mr. Miguel and other Crestwood citizens never would have been aware of the city’s fiscal “anomalies” and what steps city officials are taking in response to the situation.

Perhaps that would be preferable to Alderman LaBore because despite his assertions to the contrary, we just don’t believe he would find it “a great joy” in working with the press.