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As a Westford resident for more than 40 years, I am quite concerned about the current turmoil at WestfordCAT. Recent personnel changes, conflicts within the management structure, reduction in the overall mission of WestfordCAT, and loss of morale among staff are all having a significant negative impact on the organization and its effectiveness.
Since WestfordCAT launched its professional news coverage in 2016, it has seen increased traffic on its News website, added more subscribers to its daily newsletter, and generated more views on social media posts – all indicating the increasing importance of local news to Westford residents. Nowhere else have other media provided focused and in-depth coverage on local issues, like: Drew Gardens, Farmers Market, the asphalt plant, teachers’ salaries, school awards/grants, Kevin LaCoste fundraisers, town events, etc.
Despite the need and favorable public reaction, WestfordCAT’s Board of Directors suddenly determined that the news function is no longer important – terminating not only WestfordCAT’s Executive Director, but also its award-winning News Director – asserting that providing news is not part of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Westford.
While covering town government and committee meetings is certainly important, coverage of local news is also a vital component of community access television’s responsibilities to residents, organizations and businesses within the Town of Westford. If you value WestfordCAT’s contributions and want it to continue as a viable resource providing excellence in programming, education, news and information, make your views known. — Chris Kuntz, Westford