Harris violated rules for parade

Wednesday July 18, 2012

As no stranger to campaigns, it never amazes me how interesting they can get. As I read the letter from Ms. Roccabruna dated July 16, I felt compelled to respond to the author's claim of Ms. Harris' lawn sign policy demonstrating her integrity. I will speak to my recent experience as coordinator of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade Committee.

All candidates for Register of Deeds requested entry into the parade. All candidates were told, due to parade rules, that candidates for public office are not allowed to march in the parade unless they are marching with another organization as a member of that group. In other words, should a candidate be holding a banner and wearing a T-shirt for the Boys Club, that's perfectly fine. But a candidate cannot be wearing their campaign T-shirt or holding a campaign sign while marching in the parade. That rule upsets many people but it is still a rule every candidate respects. The Parade Committee, instead, encourages candidates to visit with parade watchers before the parade begins allowing candidates to give out any campaign paraphernalia they wish.

Ms. Harris and I personally emailed one another several times prior to the parade because she wanted to be in the parade as a candidate. I repeatedly told her the rules and that neither she nor her opponents could be in the parade wearing campaign shirts or holding campaign signs.

Within one hour after the parade began, I started receiving phone calls from both the Phillips and Pignatelli campaigns regarding the fact that Ms. Harris was riding on her hometown fire truck wearing her campaign T-shirt. I attempted to contact her several times by email following the parade with no response.

After reading her Facebook page and watching the parade via PCTV it was clear that she had cheated the system and violated the rules of the parade. And, unfortunately for her hometown fire department, they signed a form as part of their parade registration saying they would not violate any rules. So now she has left her hometown fire department in the position of most likely sitting out next year's parade.

No candidate lives in a glass house and if candidate's supporters want to demonstrate their candidate's integrity, they should think twice about their candidate's behavior before throwing a stones.




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