'Saying what we please when we please'

“What we want, and what we shall have, is the royal American privilege of living and dying in a country town, running a country newspaper, saying what we please when we please, how we please and to whom we please.” — William Allen White

Those words are printed on the copy of “Community Journalism” I’ve had since being a student at the University of Wyoming. The book was written by Bruce Kennedy, who once owned the Green River Star through his Sage Publishing Company. While I’ve read through that book a few times over the years to remember bits of information I’ve forgotten or get some insight on how to approach an issue, the words on the cover are what’s on my mind these days as I’m nearing the end of my time at the Star.

This is my last week as editor of this newspaper. Next month would have been my 10th year in the role, with November marking my 12th year at the Star. Green River is a fantastic place and having the opportunity to work here as long as I have was a treat.

I’ve gotten to know a number of people over the years and have enjoyed watching Green River and Sweetwater County change and grow.

I’m well aware not everyone appreciates the things I’ve written over the years, especially on this page, but I hope to have at least provided something that intrigued, infuriated, galvanized or entertained readers.

Looking back at that quote by William Allen White, I think that’s defined a good portion of how I’ve approached writing on the Opinion Page.

It comes from the belief that our leaders, both elected and appointed, should be held to a higher standard, their decisions scrutinized more closely and criticized when appropriate. The residents of Green River and Sweetwater County deserve the absolute best representation from government employees and officials, and when that bar isn’t met they should be called out on it.

That’s the philosophy behind some of the articles and editorials I’ve written.

I love this place and I want to see the best possible outcome for Green River and the county at large. We deserve it.

In closing, I’d like to thank everyone — friends, foes, readers, tipsters, advertisers and anyone else I’ve interacted with over the years. It’s those interactions that have made this job interesting and have given me memories I won’t ever forget.


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