Publisher Notes: The Spy Welcomes New Columnist Dan Watson

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I want to welcome our new columnist for The Talbot Spy this week, Dan Watson. Dan, a resident of this county for twenty-five years after a successful career in real estate development, will be regularly writing on a variety of subjects focusing on Talbot County, but with a particular interest in local government and our environment—both the “built” and “natural” environment.

Many of our readers will remember Dan’s role as chair of Bipartisan Coalition For New Council Leadership, a political action committee, which successfully led a campaign to vote out the former President of the County Council. Before the 2018 election, Watson was an outspoken critic of many zoning and land use decisions made by the Talbot County Council. He has been a frequent contributor to the Spy since 2013.

As with the case with all of our columnists, the Spy does not support, nor endorse Dan’s unique point of view. Some readers will undoubtedly find fault with some of his positions, and therefore, it is critical for our readers to use our comment section, or a letter to the editor format, to give fair but civil rebuttals to Dan’s positions.

The Spy expects from Dan’s columns a thoughtful analysis, insight, and persistent vigilance on what’s happening in Talbot County a useful perspective of local government. But that can be a slippery slope. At its very best, these observations can be an irreplaceable tool that profoundly improves how our government operates. It can also, without doubt, eliminate, or put a spotlight on, perceived political corruption and biased discretion in the creation of laws and policy.

But at its very worst, even with the most well-intended practitioners, the act of vigilance can lead to painful consequences for a community. A hyperfocus on personalities in particular can and does lead quickly to overreaction, paranoia, and even unfair character assassination.

And yet, on balance, the Spy believes Dan’s eye on Talbot County has the potential to produce a meaningful dialogue for our community and readers. While these conversations might be painful to have, the Spy believes they are critically important for Talbot County’s continuous commitment in finding its “true north” in protecting our special quality of life.

In that spirit, we welcome Dan and his perspective on Talbot County.

Dave Wheelan
Executive Editor and Publisher

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