Fellow residents of Dayton, in last week’s Opinion section, Lee Newsome fired an ad hominem attack at six candidates, who are running for office on April 7. Lee claimed they lack experience to serve in public office, yet did not specify what constitutes adequate experience.
If he actually knows the backgrounds of these candidates, then it’s clear he deems their following skills as disqualifying characteristics in running the town’s government: their collective (profound) success in the private sector, critical thinking skills, integrity and a genuine desire to serve our community.
The contempt and smugness in his letter is all-too-representative of the attitude and behavior I have observed in the current town board over the past several years. Moreover, Lee did not share what experience and skills the current town board members possess, such that they should keep their jobs. Please indulge me in sharing my assessment of their “experience” over these past few years:
• A town board that consistently disregards the will of the people, on key legislation, spanning road maintenance, lake access, parking ordinances and general investment plans for the town.
• A town board that has wasted more than $50,000 in legal fees, advancing its agenda against the will of the plurality of its constituents.
• A town board that fails to recuse itself from decisions or governing roles, when there may be a (real or perceived) conflict of interest.
• A town board that schedules a meeting during Thanksgiving week, to vote itself a pay raise.
• A town board that waits for seasonal residents to depart in September, before proposing and voting on controversial legislation – e.g. reclassification of roads and material changes in parking rules for lake access.
• A town board that has spent unconscionably more than the town of Farmington in its pursuit of clear-cutting the right-of-way across 72 miles of town roads. Even worse, it will take several generations for the aesthetic canopy of our roadways to return
• A town board that has twice disrupted electrical service to my house, due to dropping trees on power lines during right-of-way clear-cutting by town employees.
• A town board that capriciously decides whether it wants to notify residents before wholesale removal of mature hardwood trees on their property.
• A town board that thinks it’s a good idea to propose the restructuring of roads and intersections in the historic Town of Rural – without buy-in from the residents.
My fellow residents, on April 7, please exercise your civil right in electing representatives who embrace and practice the concept of “Serving the People.”