Do we have issues of Bias and Transparency in SV?
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
Yes and No. Government can always benefit from less bias and more transparency.
The Valley Voice, digital newspaper contained a survey written and published by Helen Besse and Terry Cowan. The same two residents then sent a political advertisement endorsing candidates. This does not seem transparent. But access to City Business, City Data, City Officials, and City Meetings? Those are more open and transparent than ever before in Sunset Valley.
We have a variety of Facebook/e-mail groups and none of these are actually managed in a way that is as transparent as our posted meetings. The best information is that posted and deliberated through the Open Meetings and Open Records regulations. The other groups, like the digital paper mentioned above, are not neutral in terms of who moderates them. Staff may not endorse candidates; all of the other information platforms mentioned here have editors and/or moderators who are actively endorsing candidates--The Valley Voice, the "Sunset Valley TX Residents" FB group, and every e-mail group that I have seen. I don't think any of these sources of information should go away, but I do think it is bit hypocritical of those managing and moderating them to cry wolf about bias.
The public process and ability for all residents to weigh in is stronger than ever in Sunset Valley. This truth, however, has disrupted the balance of previous years in Sunset Valley (pre-dating the Villas development). We have finally stopped devaluing entire neighborhoods or streets as not being significant or not having existed long enough to bring fresh perspective and qualified opinions. I am proud to have seen that shift during my time in Sunset Valley from 2008-Now. All streets, residents and viewpoints for the future of Sunset Valley are welcome and equally valued now and residents who have lived in SV for 60 years and 6 months should all have a place in the community conversation. A resident cannot and should not read an e-mail, FB post or blog and think that their independent discretion or voice should yield to what someone else tells them to think.