January 25, 2022
Just under three dozen people attended a presentation by the group Pocatello for Accountable Government Entities (P.A.G.E.) on Saturday, January 22. The event, sponsored by the Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer, was designed to introduce residents to the government watchdog organization, showcase the work that they do, and solicit additional volunteers to help with their efforts.
Attendees at the event snacked on tea sandwiches, an assortment of meats and cheeses, and a selection of vegetables and dips while listening to the presentation given by P.A.G.E. Founders Heather Disselkoen and Lydia Noble.
John Crowder, Publisher of the Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer, and the host of the meeting, introduced the speakers and related why the work they are doing is so important. “There have been times in America when members of the press could be counted on to monitor government and let the public know when they were wasting money or taking inappropriate actions. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case these days, as members of a partisan, ‘press’ act in collusion with government to disseminate propaganda on behalf of those they agree with, while writing misleading stories about those they oppose. That is why we need citizen groups, such as P.A.G.E., which is not connected with any political party, but is multi-partisan, to do this important work.” Crowder also noted that, in the last six months, fifteen articles posted on his news website had been generated because of the work done by P.A.G.E.
Disselkoen and Noble explained the processes they use to obtain and analyze the data that generates their reports to the public. Besides attending local government meetings, they conduct research online, obtain information through records requests, and interview government officials locally and in similarly sized cities in Idaho.
Several attendees asked questions about specific issues, such as street maintenance costs, the remodeling of City offices where it was discovered that the installation of granite countertops had been included in the work, and the limiting of information contained in the City’s Monthly Expenditure Report. (See article, here: P.A.G.E.: No Credible Justification for Pocatello Mayor Limiting Information on City’s Monthly Expenditure Report | Pocatello-Chubbuck Observer (pocatellochubbuckobserver.com)
Following the presentation, attendees visited with Disselkoen and Noble to ask additional questions, with a half-dozen expressing interest in volunteering their time to work with them.
To learn more about P.A.G.E., or to contact them to find out how you can help with their work, visit: Pocatello For Accountable Government Entities | Facebook