Letter: Civility needed in town politics
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
I entered the race for Great Barrington Select Board for one reason, to try to bring some civility to the election process and to the discussions around town spending and policies. Although the election is over a month away (May 13) I have already been succeeding. I’ve talked with voters in Housatonic who feel ignored by Great Barrington policy makers. I’ve talked to Main Street merchants upset about the upcoming renovation. I’ve talked to many, many voters about rising taxes they fear will force them out of Great Barrington.
All of these difficult conversations, every one of them, has been civil and polite. Most voters know that our problems are not easy to solve and we can disagree without name-calling or personal attacks. So I was sorry to see a letter in Monday’s paper written by someone I’ve never met, attacking me with made up "facts" and sarcasm.
Let’s try to behave as if our grandmother is watching us. When talking or writing about the issues or the candidates, please keep it civil. If you disagree with my opponent, disagree with him, don’t attack him. If you disagree with me, and heaven knows I could be wrong about things, disagree with me. We will all learn from that. Please try not to attack who we are or what we’ve done while trying to make Great Barrington a better place to live.
We all want the same thing for our town: quality services we can afford. There are a lot of smart people living here and there are often more ways than one to solve a problem. Just because we disagree about the best way, doesn’t mean we can’t work together as a community of neighbors. Communication, participation and cooperation will serve us best.
I look forward to continuing my conversations with Great Barrington voters, even the one who wrote Monday’s letter, about how we can meet our challenges in ways that leave no one behind.
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