Choices for Change
Having attended Dawn and Art’s Kent Community Breakfast Meeting and the Rock Hall Candidate Forum, I could conclude, in a nutshell, that they both get it. They are essentially on the same page. Both recognize the dire financial condition of the town, along with the crumbling infrastructure, debt and mismanagement issues. Both are solid and capable candidates. I like and respect them both.
I do want to comment on the two issues that Dawn raised in her letter. Although it is true that Art resigned his council seat, he did so because he was a powerless minority at odds with unethical and incompetent Town leadership. To remain on the Council under those circumstances is not only maddening and futile, it could have also created some liability for him. The simple fact is that the majority rules. One is not a majority. If you knew what was happening and chose to remain, you are considered to be complicit. It was a tough call on his part. I understand his quandary and have seen enough of the running of the Town to know that he was in a no-win situation.
On the subject of civility – civility is a two-way street. There have been very pointed and vitriolic remarks made against those few who actually take an awful lot of time to read the Town Charter, review codes, read MDE reports, contact the Maryland Municipal League and do a great deal of homework. Most who are so critical of these people do none of the above, nor do they ever attend Town meetings. I can tell you this – the more you learn and the more fact finding you do, the more it becomes very obvious that things are running off the rails. To target the messengers, rather than heed the message is folly. Continuing to dismiss the facts has led the Town down this path.
The conduct from some of the Town management and leadership has been unsavory, to say the least. Citizens have been bullied and shut down. This kind of conduct builds frustration and anger. I noticed that after the last town election, the number of audience seats in the room had been reduced considerably. That was a subtle hint to stay home.
I believe that a change to responsible and competent leadership will go a long way to restoring civility. There are far more entertaining things to do than sit through town meetings.
In my opinion, both Artie and Dawn are up to the task. It may come down to a simple matter of popularity. I just wish that they could both serve in the next go round.
“Democracy dies in darkness”