Bob Pugh cooks our goose.  "I have always been critical of journalists."

About our stories on the $39 million taxpayer debt Ray Beck and Bob Lemone left Columbia, and how the city's nearly half-billion dollar yearly budget has ballooned over the years, Bob Pugh writes:

I have 2 bones to pick with you.  I really do not know why I waste my time setting you straight.

Bone #1

You allude that there was something not right about the City's involvement in the IBM building. You imply that Ray Beck and one his "buds", Bob LeMone somehow had a cozy relationship related to the IBM deal.
If I am not mistaken Bill Watkins was City Manager and Bob LeMone was dead, when the IBM deal was struck.

Let me set you straight.
Bob LeMone was my best friend. I have known Ray Beck for 40 years. Ray Beck and Bob LeMone were not "buds" (your word not mine). They did not travel in the same social circles.  I am not even sure they liked each other.

Probably respected each other is a more accurate description on any relationship they may have had between a City Manager and a private citizen.  Your reckless and simply untrue rhetoric impugns the character of two honest and good men.

For the life of me, I cannot understand your motives, when you , under the guise of "Columbia's Alternative News Source" take such liberties with the truth.   Of course you will "stand by your story" even if it is false.  Go ahead.
Most people realize you should be writing fairy tales instead of pretending to be a "journalist".

Bone #2

In your last edition, you cite under the heading Budget Factoid, the City budget had increased 75.4% in the last 10 years and contrasted that against population growth of 28.5% in the decade 2000 - 2010.

That's OK with me, but I suggest that you might be a bit loose with the facts, leading your readers to an incorrect conclusion.

The budget includes revenue and expenses of all the municipal enterprises, such as the water and electric utility. I suggest it would be more informative, in addition to being intellectually honest, to break out the parts that make up the sum.

I have always been critical of journalists, the Tribune included, regarding the stores they write on financial matters, especially the city budget.

Either the reporter cannot understand the document he is reporting on, or is simply too lazy to take the time to understand what he is reading.

Granted, any public entity's financial documents are hard to understand. In the case of the City, the accounting rules, the classification of income and expense and the terminology, such as Fund Balances, are not as straight forward as they should be.
A private business' financial statement is much easier to understand. An example - Net Sales less Cost of Goods Sold yields Gross Profit. From that subtract expense, such as payroll, yields Profit or (Loss).

It takes time and effort to report the facts accurately.  You must not have the time and obviously do not make the effort. Perhaps, you simply write what you think your readers want to believe about our city government and the people involved in civic affairs -- all kinds of bad things, conflicts of interest, self enrichment at the public expense, conspiracies.
I have lived in this town for a long time and have never found an ounce of truth to support that kind of thinking. You must not realize that you do a lot of harm -- and never any good.
Columbia is a good city, governed and managed by good people.  Join the crowdInstead of looking in from the outside with an uninformed and jaundiced point of view, make a real contribution to the town you call your hometown.

I realize I will get some smart ass response.  Stick by your stories. You have to live with them.  I can sleep well knowing our city is in good hands, and you are as full of crap as a Christmas Goose.

Bob Pugh
CEO, MBS Books
Principal, St. Charles Road Development Group
Former Mayor, City of Columbia

Ed. Note: 
The Columbia Heart Beat has written about Mr. Pugh's activities before, and he has written to the Columbia Heart Beat before.   His firm, the St. Charles Road Development Group, is one of the largest net sellers of private land to public entities in Boone County.