Supervisors Icenhour, Kennedy Clash Over Jamestown Newsletter
Jamestown Supervisor Jim Icenhour has faced opposition for his request to place a link to the newsletter he created, The Jamestown Journal, on his section of the James City County Board of Supervisors webpage.
“I’m getting a lot of pushback,” Icenhour said in an interview Thursday. “I find the opposition not unexpected but a little mystifying … It’s not a partisan issue, it’s a constituent service.”
Stonehouse Supervisor Jim Kennedy emailed County Administrator Robert Middaugh and the other board members with his concerns Wednesday.
“I think it is a bad idea, he is up for election this year and nothing is separate in elections. We would need to offer the same link to any challenger for any seat,” he wrote.
Kennedy’s email came in response to an email Middaugh sent Wednesday to the board explaining Icenhour’s newsletter and his request the link be added to the county page.
The newsletter will “focus on events in the District and County wide that might impact his residents. He has indicated that it will be a separate site from his campaign site and that none of his campaign funds are to be used on the newsletter,” Middaugh wrote.
On Icenhour’s webpage, the newsletter is explained as a periodic publication for the purpose of informing citizens about the board’s functions, as well as meetings, events and work going on in the Jamestown District.
“It’s aimed at the people of my district but it’s usable anywhere in the county,” Icenhour said. He continued to say he would urge all the supervisors to write a newsletter.
Middaugh indicated he did not have a problem including the link and would include a link for any other board member who wanted to have a newsletter, as well.
“We will include a short disclaimer that the newsletter is Mr. Icenhour’s product and does not represent the Board or County positions to the extent there are any,” Middaugh wrote in his email to the board.
Icenhour said he makes it very clear the newsletter does not have to do with his campaign website and is not paid for by election contributions; he pays for the website with his own money. Icenhour writes the content for the newsletter himself, only seeking help with the layout and posting the content online.
“I have seen some of the writings of Mr. Icenhour in the past to various groups, they are anything but completely factual,” Kennedy wrote in his email. He continued to ask who would determine whether the writing is “factual, editorial or embellished.”
Kennedy also requested the Virginia State Board of Elections be asked for its opinion prior to posting a link to the newsletter on the county website. As of Thursday evening, no answer was given as to whether the Board of Elections has been contacted.