Letter: Recall unfair, and sets bad precedent

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To the editor:

On Saturday, Hinsdale is holding an unprecedented recall election to decide Chairwoman Bonnie Conner's political future. The town has been in an uproar; Ms. Connor's opponents believe ousting her is a positive move.

I think recalling her is a huge mistake. To begin with, the recall law is a dreadful, poorly written statute. Reasons for recall in this law boil down to because we said so. Who in the world will run for office knowing he or she can be recalled for no particular reason? Often leaders make unpopular decisions for very good reasons.

Secondly, recall is ugly business, with long-standing consequences. It negates the will of the voters who cast a ballot at an annual election. If an official disappoints you, do not reelect them to another term in office.

If you want to know why Congress is such a pool of anger, gridlock and gamesmanship, look no further than Hinsdale, where Select Board meetings have become gladiatorial contests with combatants waiting for a reason to pounce, to point out procedural flaws and errors.

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Proponents of the recall think this will be resolved if Ms. Conner is gone, but they are wrong. The only difference will be who sits at the Select Board table. The anger, the distrust, the nitpicking will go on and on until people understand the need to listen to both sides and recognize we are neighbors and family. In Hinsdale, everyone is waiting for someone else to change.

I hear that Ms. Conner has taken many illegal actions. There is an expression: If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. I know of the dozens of open meeting violations filed, exactly four have had any merit, and two of those dealt with a committee of which she had no part. To my knowledge, no one has ever acknowledged that all but two of those violations were baseless. There is an EEOCC ruling still working its way to a final resolution.

What I have seen over the past year is Ms. Conner keeping her head down and working. She has put in untold hours at town hall, dealing with highway problems, resolving long-standing sewer and water issues, hiring excellent employees, taking care of business.

Sadly, this recall feels nasty and vindictive. There has been an unrelenting attack on Ms. Conner in retaliation for unpopular positions she has taken. There is no compelling reason to go through the expense and upset of a recall of an official who has 10 months left in her three-year term. This recall sets a sad and dangerous precedent. Are we going to play the recall card every time someone makes a decision we don't agree with?

It is vital that citizens come to the town hall Saturday and vote against the recall, and vote for Bonnie Conner for Selectman.

Vivian Mason Hinsdale


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