This past week was one of those that has only happened occasionally since I started here at the Banner Graphic. Even so, this blog post isn't going to be all that positive.
With this being the second week of the month, normally I would have four meetings to cover with the Cloverdale School Board, Cloverdale Town Council, Area 30 Board and South Putnam School Board. This might seem like a good bit, and, really, it all can be.
Though with the Cloverdale Town Council typically being about an hour-and-a-half (they've been much longer), the others have been pretty on point in terms of action and discussion. They still make for late nights with 7 p.m. starts as well as travel time.
And then there was the North Putnam School Board, which had its regular meeting this week instead. This was because its officers had to be approved before a certain deadline, and the normal meeting time would've been after it. Though it was the fifth meeting, I ultimately was fine with this. I am on others' schedules being in this job.
What I was not that okay with is that it took a two-hour meeting to get through their agenda. The majority of this, it seems, was the board going in circles on COVID policy. Coverage will be forthcoming, but I simply had had enough when I left. The North Putnam School Board generally is the opposite. It has been a good group to cover.
It is incredibly exasperating and, frankly, inconsiderate. What I value most both as a journalist and a community member is efficiency. If a board or council wants to have extended discussions about this or that, have an executive session or special meeting.
It all ended with going on a wild goose chase around midnight Friday for a reported fire. Indeed, the Greencastle Fire Department woke me up. I went on the scanner and heard of a box alarm, and then I scrambled. I had no address, though, except that it was on State Road 240. It turned out to be right under my nose over at Ascena Retail.
I now have a bruised big toe because of kicking my fridge and whatever else. I was mad as all get out at the time. Thinking on it now, this very much was an overreaction. Still, it was that sense of duty, of needing and wanting to be there, that sent me over.
I get that this post might read like a plea for a grievance committee. In the end, I very much know that all this comes with being a local reporter. Still, lessons might be had.
One of those lessons might be that I can only do so much sometimes. Another might be one that I will still continue to work on, and that is giving even a little more grace.