To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I am a candidate for re-election to the Hinsdale Finance Committee. I have been on this committee off and on for over 30 years. During those years I have had the honor and privilege to work with a number of different committee members and select boards.

While we didn't always agree on each issue, we all wanted to do our best for the entire town and were respectful of each other's positions. I have always worked to help the town move forward by being mindful of the needs of the all residents and how decisions impact the taxpayer. I have always done my best to promote and support fair, reasoned decisions.

Unfortunately this has changed over the past few years. We have now an incumbent Selectman who has not participated in the budget process and has refused to interact with the Finance Committee. This same incumbent Selectman has refused to work with his fellow board members and when questioned, has refused to explain his position in open meetings. He is acting in the interests of a few and not for the betterment of the town as a whole.

As a Finance Committee member I am appalled at this blatant disregard for the town and its taxpayers. It does not matter what side of the issue you are on, it matters that you openly state your positions so that a discussion of differing viewpoints can occur. As a result of these discussions common ground can often be found and respectful solutions can result. Refusing to attend meetings or state the reasons for your position only serve to divide people.

Sadly we have seen much inaccurate information put forth, false accusations made and the integrity of a number of current and former town employees or committee members questioned with no basis in fact. This has resulted in good people not attending meetings or being unwilling to get involved in town government.

This election is not about the issues surrounding the former police chief; it is about moving forward and protecting the best interests of every taxpayer. Being a Finance Committee member, I have seen first-hand how this anger is hurting our town.

I would appreciate your vote to return me to the Finance Committee. Please also consider a vote for Vivian Mason, the candidate to unseat the incumbent Selectman. Help heal our town by attending the annual town meeting tonight at 7 p.m. and by voting in the election on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thank you for your consideration.

MARY RICE

Hinsdale