Clarifying the Rancho Yolo Water Rate Situation: A Correction

Vanguard_-_Vby the Davis Vanguard Editorial Board

On Saturday, February 23, 2013 the Vanguard published a piece entitled “Clarifying the Rancho Yolo Water Rate Situation.”

The purpose of the article was to highlight that Jerry Hallee, President of Rancho Yolo Community Association, had failed to mention that he had, in fact, contacted the city about his concerns regarding rate increases at Rancho Yolo.

This became an important issue when Bob Dunning picked up his case and used it to call into question the competency of city staff and city councilmembers. 

The Vanguard article was critical of Mr. Dunning’s approach–especially since he chose either not to ask Mr Hallee about contacts Mr. Hallee had made at the city, or to hide knowledge that Mr. Hallee had shared with him about such contacts. 

The Vanguard stands by this criticism because readers of Mr. Dunning’s column were led to believe that Mr. Hallee had received no explanation and clarification about the rates from City staff–something that staff pointed out was not the case.

However, in the course of writing this article on Saturday, David Greenwald wrote the following paragraph:

“What Bob Dunning does not tell the public is that a WEEK prior to writing the column he spoke with Herb Nierderberger, the City’s Utilities Manager, who had the clear information to explain the rates.  This was confirmed by Mr. Niederberger to the Vanguard on Friday.”

Unfortunately, the use of the pronoun “he” in the context of this paragraph implied that Mr. Dunning had spoken to Herb Niederberger.  The “he” in question was meant to refer to Mr. Hallee.

This unclear antecedent error was inadvertent, and not corrected in subsequent edits to the post.  The paragraph was in no way intended to mean that Mr. Dunning had been misleading about a conversation that he, Mr Dunning, had had with staff. There was no nefarious intent. 

Further, while the Vanguard has disagreed with some of what Mr. Dunning has written about the water project and his approach in doing so, the Vanguard believes Mr. Dunning is free to write what he wants and believes that on many issues Mr. Dunning has served the community well by raising critical issues.  

We hope this sets the record straight about this matter and we at the Vanguard will do our utmost to ensure that such a mistake does not happen again.

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1 Comment

  1. Ryan Kelly

    I had understood the article as Jerry Hallee had contacted the City, not Bob Dunning. Regardless, mention of Jerry’s meeting with City staff was left out of both of their articles and the criticism of City staff was unearned.

    Thank you for the clarification. I’m sure that this campaign has given the Board much to discuss, including possibly having guest editors of the blog available to respond to comments or requests for clarification for at least the day the article is posted.

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