When our local news aggregator site — Montana Independent News — passes on news stories from other sources there is no problem, but when the site comes up with its own stories unprofessional writing and bias too often shows…

A good case in point is a recent post: Mayor Cogswell’s Farewell Letter to the Community. The Montana Independent News has a beef with the former Red Lodge Mayor, and it was apparent (again) in the recent MIN post. In the recent post the MIN not only went on to dissect the mayor’s letter but then lapsed into a pro-realtor perspective on short-term rentals (STR) in Red Lodge, while skewing a survey’s results at the same time.

Looking at the survey results (see link below), 70% of respondents felt STRs are a “nuisance regarding noise, parking, garbage tidiness” in neighborhoods. 79% said STRs are a threat to the safety of neighborhoods. Only 28% felt property owners should have a right to an unfettered decision about whether or not to offer their property as an STR. 58% were in favor of regulating STRs. STRs are a growing problem in tourist towns throughout the West and certainly represent a problem which Red Lodge can’t ignore, especially in the face of an affordable housing crisis.

Perhaps the MIN should have either published Cogswell’s as is, without comment, or just not published it. It seems a cheap shot to use the letter to yet again attack the former mayor and to vent a pro-realtor slant on STRs. Or to vent yet again vent the MIN’s differences with the former mayor when it comes to the airport property ownership and management fiasco involving the Red Lodge airport, which has been left unaddressed for years.

Link to survey:

https://www.cityofredlodge.net/sites/default/files/fileattachments/boards_and_commissions/page/11624/str_community_survey_full_final_1.pdf

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