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My Withdrawal from Consideration for the Local Emergency Planning Committee

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Kevin Mathewson
Editor, Kenosha County Eye

On March 3, 2023, Kenosha County Executive Samantha Kerkman appointed me to serve on the Local Emergency Planning Committee. I am grateful that she had such confidence in me, and I consider the committee a critical one to our community.

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Recently, however, I’ve been asked the same questions by friends, readers, supporters, and community leaders. They were concerned I would lose my ability to be an independent journalist, and to hold our local government accountable in the way I have always done. I gave these concerns some serious thought, and concluded that I could still produce unbiased work for the Kenosha County Eye while serving on the committee. However, there would be other unavoidable difficulties if I served on a county committee. 

I have successfully sued the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department in the past, and unfortunately, I have recently had to do so again. As this case remains in litigation, I can’t sit on a county committee when I am alleging wrongdoing on the part of that same county. This is a conflict that cannot be deliberately overlooked.

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Some in the community expressed opposition to my appointment, as well. It’s been confirmed, however that twice as many people supported my nomination, than those who were against it. The majority of the County Board signaled their support for me, as well. To both those on the County Board and my other supporters, I’d like to say thank you.

While I feel humbled and grateful by the outpouring of support I’ve received, I must remain true to my readers and advertisers. They deserve assurance that I will not be swayed from keeping government accountable.  Therefore, tonight I rescinded my name from consideration to County Executive Kerkman.

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Kevin E. Mathewson

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21 Responses

  1. WOW !!!
    I completely understand everything that Kevin has said here.
    The reasoning is compelling.
    That said, the committee still needs a media representative. Who is Good Enough and Qualified Enough to fill that roll ????
    Who is as well qualified as Kevin is ??
    Everyone chime in here now.
    Give Sam some ideas !!

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  2. How are they appointing people? Clearly not by experience. The stay at home streamer koerri said he as well was asked to serve, why???? Because he can stream a trial someone else is broadcasting? No experience and followers are all in his ass like he would know what he’s doin anyway? Our society and community don’t need “streamers” as he called it in a decision making committee. I guess I just don’t get it

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  3. Great Job Kevin, you are a True person to Kenosha !!!!!
    Keep up the good work, Keep are city officials accountable.
    I do still believe you should run for major …. then you can change the way things are done and who is doing it. You can fire and hire the correct people for the jobs that are Kenosha needs.

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    1. I like the idea of “mayor”. Not major. Major sounds more like a fake police title. But i understand your meaning.

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  4. Thank you, Kevin. I am a long time reader and was concerned about a potential conflict of interest, so I believe you made the correct decision.

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  5. Mr. Mathewson made an honorable decision. It is a common tactic of corrupt organizations to offer critics jobs or perks to silence them. Local governments in Kenosha have used this tactic for generations. There is a very good chance that was the intent of offering Mr. Mathewson this appointment. Kudos to him for recognizing this. We are a much better community because Mr. Mathewson chose to be independent over accepting the crumbs off the table.

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  6. Valid point, there is a potential conflict on interest. Valid point, the KCE has to remain independent. Those in the community expressing opposition to your appointment, are entitled to their opinion. At least this time they are doing it in a civil manner and not with Molotovs.
    I feel Mrs. Kerkman appointed a great candidate.

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  7. Do readers here have any qualified candidate names to suggest?

    Honest, impartial, willingness to speak truth to power, workaholic, quick learner, gregarious, visible, open, truthful, great communication skills?

    Who around you would be great in this position?

    Let’s hear some names

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  8. Left will say they won and forced you out. Shoulda stayed and proved them wrong. You wrote the story on Billy and she instructed people to email the board and now you write this. We know why you did it, but the hypocrisy of the left will say they did it

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  9. The honor of the appointment is not lost with your withdrawal from the committee. If anything, your withdrawal bestows more honor on you. Great move Kevin!

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  10. I appreciate your integrity in this decision, even though I am disappointed in the result. I was ready to stand strong with your appointment.

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    1. Tim, I value your leadership on the board and most of all your passion to serve your community. Thank you so much for your kind words and for always doing the right thing even in the face of discourse.

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  11. The unvarnished truth is that we all have biases and opinions. All of us. The question is if we can set them aside and be fair and impartial.

    Media representatives are part of the community and, in appropriate situations, participation on a local committee may be appropriate. For example, a local radio station could be represented on a disaster preparedness committee. If a conflict arose then obviously they’d have to abstain.

    The appearance of a conflict is also important and in that vein I understand the decision. I know that some have questioned if this is a legitimate news outlet but in today’s world social media has taken the place to a large extent of local media. Who decides what’s legitimate — or not? Our constitutions don’t make that distinction.

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