What newspaper do you own? It is this one!

Now, that may come as quite a shock to the people who invested to make The Paper happen, but in a real sense this is your paper. And not just the copy you plunked down 50 cents to buy, either.

Gail Hamilton, when she was executive editor of the Journal Review, used to tell us, "Don't be upset when someone calls to complain. Remember, they feel it is their paper and they don't want it to have mistakes."

We want you to feel this is your paper because, after all, if it weren't for you we wouldn't be here! (You know that's true and I want you to know we know it, too.)

So, what are we going to do about it?

Well, in addition to our ongoing attempt to put you, the reader and our customer first, we are going to try a couple new things that I think you will find enjoyable.

First, we are going to start a Meet the Editor program at a local restaurant. It could be a night or morning or noon. We will alternate to make it more convenient for as many people as possible.

Yes, I am back in the editor's chair. I say that with some trepidation because I take this honor very seriously and when I left this post it was because of some heavy medical problems that seem to be behind me. I hope.

Other newspapers have Meet the Editor programs; there is nothing new under the sun. Our own Mayor Todd Barton does the same thing. It's a good idea.

I want you to tell me what's on your mind. Tell me off, tell me what you like, tell me what's right, tell me what's wrong, tell me how we can improve but tell me!

I know you can call or e-mail or text or send mail the old-fashioned way and many of you do that. But I also know I spend most of my time with elected officials and other newsmakers. In the grand scheme of things they don't count. They are important only to the extent they should be doing what you elected them to do.

You are important. You really are.

I've never been accused of becoming arrogant (that I know of!) because you tend to keep me humble. Keep up the good work!

Your encouragement is appreciated, too.

But we need to get together and a cup of coffee or a sandwich seems to be a good way to spark conversation. No, I'm not buying but I'm not expecting you to pay, either, so we should come out even.

When will this start, you ask.

The first one will be on June 12 at The Forum restaurant. No reservations needed but please plan to come! We have a date!

Another thing we want to start is the use of selfies.

You know what they are. President Obama got into a pickle when he participated in a selfie during a funeral in South Africa recently.

A selfie is when you take a cell phone, turn the camera toward yourself and take your own photo. It can be at a ball game, fishing, with a friend, even dancing, if the picture isn't blurry.

We want your selfies!

Send them to me at frank@thepaper24-7.com and then look for them online and in the pages of our newsprint!

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One last thought: And it's bugging me so I have to say it.

I looked through the campaign finance reports for the May primary election. Nearly every candidate spent money outside Montgomery County. Now, isn't that odd when you consider that all of them campaigned on making Montgomery County more successful?

Yeah, I spend money out of county, too. Maybe we should think twice before we do it next time?



Frank Phillips is the Editor of The Paper of Montgomery. His phone number is 361-0100, extension 19.