I never saw it coming.
Two weeks ago after our weekly Thursday editorial staff meeting, Publisher Emeritus Joel Dunn made up an excuse for me to follow him downstairs.
He invited his son, Bruce, to join us in the conference room where they extended an invitation to me to accept the position as editor of the Tooele Transcript Bulletin.
I didn’t even know the position was open.
I know the passion Dave Bern has for his work, this paper, and this town. I figured he would be here forever, or at least until he collapsed over his keyboard after writing his last story.
Many years ago as a district executive with the Boy Scouts of America, I received an assignment to work with a new district, a set of volunteers responsible for delivering Scouting in a geographical area.
I diligently did my research on the area demographics, the number of Scout aged youth, the number of Scouts enrolled, and the location and type of Scout groups.
I prepared an exciting presentation on the possibility for growth. Using chart and graphs — powerpoint and projectors were not yet invented — I developed an inspirational presentation about underserved communities and youth and how we could extend Scouting to more youth.
I gave my presentation at my first meeting with the volunteers. It was what I had been trained to do. It was my job.
After the meeting one of the volunteers pulled me aside.
“That was great, but I guess nobody told you,” she said.
“Told me what?” I asked.
“We decided a year ago that we weren’t going to grow until we can take care of what we already have,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t want to grow, but we’ve had several new district executives that have marched through here and did their own thing and left us with their mess to clean up. We hoped you would be different.”
Ouch, I thought.
I had been so excited about the opportunities, I didn’t take time to complete my research and talk to the people. I was so excited by the numbers.
That’s when I Iearned that you don’t just walk into a new job and announce you’re going to change everything.
But you know, after two years of helping those volunteers achieve what they wanted, they were right there with me and we grew to serve more youth than we both thought possible.
Don’t expect any great changes in editorial direction from the Transcript Bulletin next week.
Past editors have set a strong standard of excellence in both journalistic integrity and quality. The standard has been to seek the truth and report it. No fake journalism here. Opinion is kept to the opinion or open forum page
We will continue to present readers with factual reporting and allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
I read in a book on journalism once something like, “don’t insult your readers’ intelligence, let them draw their own conclusions.”
That sounded like pretty good advice to me.
With Tooele County’s growth there will be plenty of stories on growth and the things that come with growth — planning and preparing for growth and its effects on the quality of life we enjoy.
When readers pick up your paper and read it, or when you open up the online version, they should continue to see a paper full of stories that you can’t read anywhere else.
Not everybody can be at every town council, county commission, service agency, or school board meeting. And that’s our job — to let you know what’s happening in your community.
Along with reporting on local government and how it affects your life, I have come to learn that Tooele has some interesting places and people.
The Tooele Transcript Bulletin has strived to bring to its readers the news of the community and its people through hometown feature stories, photographs, and other stories about the people, places, and things in our county. The dedication to this type of community news will continue.
I don’t want to stand up and make another mistake sharing my grand and glorious plans. Things that aren’t broken don’t need to be fixed.
But if you think something is broken, let me know. Likewise, if you like something, let us know. My email address is at the end of this column.