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Yes, we are very late this week


This issue (Sept. 2) of The Community News will reach you very late.

We in “the media” are always pushing for transparency of government bodies, and I feel we as a newspaper, and I in particular as a publisher, should be transparent as well.

The problem this week was multi-pronged, but in the end the responsibility lies with me.

I haven’t written much about it lately because it hasn’t been an issue lately. In 2008 I shared my experience of spending six weeks of intensive outpatient therapy at what was then Baylor All Saints in Fort Worth for treatment of issues related to depression and bipolar disorder.

Since that time I have been much healthier emotionally, though some weeks are better than others.

The last two years have been a disruption for everyone. It is almost to the week two years ago that Tony Eierdam, our sports reporter, passed away from COVID-19.

Then came shutdowns and, out of an abundance of caution, I asked staff not to come in to the office. As a result, at the time that meant pretty much everything fell on my shoulders.

There are a lot of functions that need to be done to get a weekly newspaper produced. The more obvious to the public might be the writing and photography. There is also maintenance of subscriptions, billing for advertising, posting payments, taking phone calls, sales, collections, page layout, deliveries, and mailing — to name a few.

My focus at the time, as the owner of the business, was first to stay in business during COVID, and to produce the paper and get it to the readers each week.

All in all, it ran very well, and after the shutdowns we brought back some staff.

But there has been a shortage of qualified people to work in some areas of the business, and to be honest, in my single-minded focus to get the paper done each week, I allowed some important business matters to go unattended.

I also devoted a great deal of time and energy to getting our new website up and running.

And I have never really stopped operating in COVID mode despite the availability of willing people in the business who could take on some of those tasks.

In my arrogance, I thought I could do it all.

Well, I can’t.

About a week ago I and the business hit a wall. We weren’t paying proper attention to some important aspects of the business, and depression came down with an intensity I haven’t felt in a very long time. It ground me personally to a halt.

Because I am the only person who knows how to get the paper laid out and to press, it ground the paper to a halt as well.

I have thought myself bullet proof.

Well, I’m not.

It has taken this last two weeks to prove that to me.

So, where do we go from here?

For me personally, it is to address my personal stuff.

If you are reading this it means I have shaken it off and finished the paper.

For the business, we have contracted for additional staff in the areas where we have been short. Those people begin work in the coming week.

Second, we are solidifying procedures.

Third, we are working to make sure there are at least two people in the office who know how to do every task.

This is the first (and only) time this has happened in my 27-plus years of publishing this newspaper. I am not sharing this information to gain pity — I don’t want that. I am sharing it to give you, our readers, an honest explanation.

We appreciate your business, your support, and your understanding.

- Healthline.com


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