"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Sunday, March 13, 2016

About Integrity and Public Service

Politics can be a dirty business, especially at the local level where it can be very personal. I am disturbed by the comments and remarks I have gotten questioning my integrity and my ability to follow the will of the people.I have been called a liar, a cheat, dishonest, lacking in integrity, and a good deal of other names.

There is quite a bit of hypocrisy out there though. I wrote and spoke many times about how we got to the point of a warrant article for a community center: two separate Town meeting votes. Why is it that some wanted the will of those voters to be ignored? My job as a selectman is to do the will of the people and that is precisely what I did. I represent all constituents, even those in the minority.

As to integrity and pushing my own agenda, I wonder how many of you would be able to put aside your personal feelings, investigate the facts dispassionately and come to an unbiased conclusion despite it being an unpopular one and one that you vehemently opposed in the past?  I never once told anyone to vote yes on article 2. I don't believe it is the role of the BoS, except in very limited circumstances, to ask voters to vote yes or no.  I consistently presented the facts as I knew them to be. My only agenda was to give people accurate information so that they could make an informed decision.

I am angry and very disappointed  about how much wrong information was fed to citizens by some  to make sure that this project never got off the ground or even have a fair debate to expose the fallacies in a public forum. And I am not at all pleased that I am now accused of pushing this project on them and trying to find new ways to spend other peoples money. I'm a taxpayer also.

Since I became involved in our local politics nearly a decade ago, there has been much positive  change in our town and I am proud and not at all shy to say that I was a major reason for that. Posting countless videos, attending meetings,  a Right to Know lawsuit, attending many, many BoS meetings and asking many hard questions. There were some that didn't like this new openness and transparency, but it is now the norm and no longer the exception. I never ran for office with the intent that I would push my own agenda. Other than the pursuit of openness and transparency, I have no agenda. I read and research issues, I try to be fair and open minded and I make decisions that don't always come down in my favor when the BoS vote, but when it is over, we move  on to the next issue. That is my definition of integrity and being a responsible public servant. To others, integrity seems to mean ignoring the facts and holding on to long held personal biases.

There will be other contentious issues to be sure and I will continue to address each and everyone with the same style and commitment I have always shown as one of your selectmen.