There once was a time when local paper the Sewickley Herald was dedicated to covering council and the borough’s five commissions on a week-to-week basis. Not any more.

Local news outlets are shrinking or disappearing everywhere. A study published in 2018 by researchers at the University of Illinois and University of Notre Dame found that the demise of local newspapers has led to inefficiencies in local government and risky financial transactions by elected officials.

Declining local news has diminished the ability of local citizens to hold elected officials accountable.

We at the Sewickley Gazette intend to rebuild local news from the ground up, with our new community news service, sewickleygazette.com . We know that residents need better coverage and a deeper understanding of decisions by elected and appointed officials.

Sewickley taxpayers will be paying off millions of dollars of debt on the borough’s wastewater treatment plant until 2040 – the result of a 2009 decision by a minority of appointed and elected officials.

In 2016, a single appointed official, ignoring years of work by hardworking volunteer citizens to develop a plan for the Village, approved a controversial variance for a 50,000 square foot condo development. Local news barely mentioned this decision, after weeks of informing local residents that the project was going to be 8 townhouses on the site. Borough council, despite overwhelming community opposition, approved the lone zoning official’s decision for the massive condo construction.

From 2017 to the present, revenues from parking in the borough have declined – dramatically – after the creation of a Parking Authority and installation of parking stations.

Sewickley Gazette stories will address the underlying reasons behind government decisions, provide much-needed historical perspective, and give a greater voice to the people who make our community the wonderful place that it is.

thesewickleygazette.com is produced by local residents. While current local news coverage scratches the surface, our stories will go deeper – to inform, engage and inspire change.

We will also revive the “Letters” section that once was such an important part of the local paper. We invite every community member to submit letters to the editor; please see the “Opinions” section of the site.

Local news matters. But we can’t have quality news without support from local residents. You can help us by keeping up with our coverage and sharing our stories with friends and family.

And again, we’d love to see your thoughts and feedback in the “Opinions” section.

 

Article by Peggy Standish – Publisher and Anne Clarke-Ronce – Editor