Proudly Wearing the Label of "Troublemaker"
December 14, 2020
This is a response to a Front Porch Forum posting by Ken Signorello, "Selectboard: COVID Won't Delay Town-wide Merger Vote".
Thank you, Ken, for all the work you do as a citizen. As the late American philosopher Mortimer Adler said, citizenship "is the highest office in the land."
You'd never know that had you watched Selectboard member Vince Franco's rant during last week's SB meeting.
Franco railed against Essex voters who suggested changes in the proposed charter, which is treated by some as the civic equivalent of the Holy Grail.
"Where you've been?" Franco asked, ignoring the fact that many attendees had already participated in many, many SB meetings and made many, many suggestions.
I'd like to ascribe Franco's outburst to what I call "Covid Craziness." Many of us are so isolated that, eventually, we need an outlet to voice our frustration with life. Some use Facebook; some use Twitter; and Vince Franco unfortunately chose the Selecboard meeting.
Yet, without agreeing with Franco, I can readily understand how it could happen because the SB Chair has herself led her own "cadre" in the art of demeaning and vituperation.
Back on November 1, the Chair had a particular group in mind when she used Facebook to warn citizens about the intimidating tactics of residents who "were very vocal" and committed the sin of "pamphleteering."
In other words, they were guilty of using their First Amendment right of free speech. (I found in my SB days that those who agreed with the dominant ideology on the board were given privileged status; those who thought independently and disagreed with SB or Planning Commission decisions were termed "troublemakers!")
Well, I proudly wear the label "troublemaker." Without troublemakers, we would never have had the American Revolution; without them, women still would not have the right to vote; and without them, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 might never have passed. And finally, I am also honored to be on what seems to be the SB Chair's personal enemies list. Bring it on!