What Ms. Carr didn’t disclose to readers – either in this story or in prior political reports – is that she herself is a member of Focus on Fluvanna’s Future. Ruthann Carr is listed as a member on their roster on its public Facebook site.

One must question whether it is proper for the political reporter of the Fluvanna Review to be a member of a partisan group that endorses candidates she covers as part of her beat. That would be a journalistic no-no at most newspapers.

(Disclosure: I was a candidate for supervisor in the last election.)

The same story misstates the history of the Fluvanna Taxpayers Association (FTA). Ms. Carr reports that FTA grew out of a political fight over Fluvanna’s water agreement with Louisa. That is incorrect. Lee True started FTA in the spring of 2008 out of concerns about mounting county debt and capital improvements spending. It wasn’t until early 2009 that most citizens and FTA learned and became alarmed about the proposed joint water authority with Louisa and projected water line costs. The battle to put the issue to a referendum took place then, a year after FTA’s founding.

Mr. True was rightly concerned about county debt. Fluvanna’s current bonded debt per capita is $3,782 for every man, woman and child in the county compared to Albemarle where taxpayers are on the hook for just $1,195 per capita in bonded debt. Ten years ago Fluvanna’s total bonded debt was about $22 million. Today it’s just shy of $100 million.

(Editor’s note: Ruthann Carr visits the Focus on Fluvanna’s Future Facebook at the editor’s request as part of her news beat. She is also on the Fluvanna Taxpayer Association’s email list.)

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