During the election last fall, The Press Democrat did something it hadn’t done for as long as anyone can remember. We sat out the election without providing a single candidate endorsement on our editorial pages.
On Sunday, The Press Democrat announced it will no longer endorse candidates for political office. The change results from a company-wide policy adopted by Halifax Media Group, which acquired The Press Democrat in January. What do you think about the change? Does this alter the way you look at the newspaper and its coverage of political issues?
Having lost a prolonged legal fight, officials overseeing the pension system for Sonoma County government have agreed to release a wider set of records showing how individual retirement benefits are calculated, including the extra pay and perks that can boost retirees’ pensions. County officials also have agreed to pay $93,516 in legal fees incurred by The Press Democrat, which prevailed this summer in a 2010 lawsuit seeking access to individual pension records for county retirees.
UPDATE 11:30 PM: Ninety-eight retirees in the county pension system pull in more than $100,000 in annual pension payments, including three who receive more than $200,000, according to records released Wednesday by the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association. See who made the top five.
Sonoma County’s pension fund board has decided not to challenge a state appellate court ruling and instead will follow a lower court’s order to release pension figures for thousands of county government retirees. The move puts an end to more than a year of legal wrangling over access to pension records of county government employees.
Officials with Sonoma County’s pension fund said Monday they will take at least two weeks before reacting to a new court ruling ordering them to release pension figures for thousands of county retirees. The Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association has not decided whether it will release the records or take another course, including an appeal to the state Supreme Court.
A state appellate court has upheld a lower court ruling that requires the disclosure of pension figures for thousands of Sonoma County government retirees.
Supervisor Shirlee Zane is urging officials in charge of the county’s retirement system to release figures about individual pensions. “It does not serve anyone well to shroud a public retirement system in unnecessary secrecy,” she notes.
Technology can make government more transparent and accessible. But it has turned the old business model for news organizations upside down, PD columnist Pete Golis notes. For publishers, the challenge is to create revenue models capable of supporting quality news products. Are people willing to pay for serious journalism?