The Westside Express speaks for itself through its coverage of the city’s most important issues and, occasionally, editorials like this.

Despite mistaken statements from some of the city’s elected leaders, the people speaking during Los Banos City Council meetings are not paid by or employed by the Westside Express. Nor are their comments coordinated, initiated or even contemplated by The Express. They speak on their own accord. If you don’t believe us, ask them.

Those city council members suggesting otherwise are either mistaken or lying.

Perhaps some members of the city council find it hard to believe that others would speak out on behalf of finding the truth. 

Many who speak at a city council meeting are doing what they have a right to do – seeking redress of grievance. It’s in the Bill of Rights, the First, in case members of the city council need reminding. It’s the same Amendment that guarantees freedom of the press.

The reason it’s the First Amendment is because our founding fathers knew that the right to criticize elected officials — no matter how powerful or thin-skinned — must be protected. Otherwise, who will demand that those officials uphold the oaths they swore and promises they made not to put their own interests ahead of those who elected them?

The Westside Express is owned and run by a board of directors that had been the board of the Dos Palos Sun before it became The Westside Express. Its publisher is Gene Lieb, a journalist with over 45 years of experience, most of it in Los Banos.

The Westside Express welcomes factual letters to the editor and opinion pieces from the members of the community – including those who support this city council and its city manager and do not appreciate our coverage.

The management of the Westside Express and its board believe in the principles of good journalism — objectivity, accuracy and integrity. Our aim is to report the news as factually as possible. When someone informs us of a mistake, we confirm the facts and then, if necessary, publish a correction.

This newspaper and its reporters will not be intimidated by comments made from the council dais. We will not accept as fact statements that differ from the public record or actions we uncover. We will continue to report the news accurately, thoroughly and honestly. If some feel threatened by that promise, we urge them to speak out. We’ll report on that, too. 


Gene Lieb


Gene Lieb