The election of 2021 here in Gardner is over. The voters, or at least 22% of the voters, have spoken.
I would like to thank each and every one of you who got informed, participated in one of my campaign forums, asked really good and sometimes challenging questions and in the end, supported my campaign.
I have to admit, campaigning in our small community was at times an irritant to my innate sense of humor. There was the threatening letter, the vague threats on Facebook and by now as some of you know, Andrea Edward’s posted some of my personal water bills on her Gardnerites United Facebook group. Problem is, they did so without my permission and included some of my personal account information. Listen guys, if you’re going to do corruption, you need to prepare more than by watching the movie Office Space and hoping for the best.
While I was not embarrassed by this display I feel we need to focus on a few problems that result. All is not well in our little city.
Someone authorized a city employee, paid with public funds, to retrieve our late bills (yes, even us entrepreneurs get behind on bills from time to time) and then distributed the actual bills to the public. Is this how we want our publicly paid employees to behave? And who else at city hall authorized such behavior?
Displaying a persons account, financial or personal information is in fact, not a legal public information request. In this case, the regular public records request process was not even adhered to to collect these documents and was further aggravated by the fact that Andrea Edwards wasn’t competent enough to redact my personal information.
Last time I checked, being poor or temporarily cash strapped isn’t illegal or even shameful in America. At least as long as people like me have anything to say about it. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting sick and tired of some of our fellow citizens shaming the poor, the underemployed, the folks on a fixed income. This wasn’t directed just for my personal entertainment, these fools are trying to intimidate many of you, my fellow citizens, into walking away from your rights to assemble, to vote, to run for office.
In conclusion, while I cannot thank you all enough, those of you engaged in the democratic process here in Gardner, I generally am concerned for the future of our city, it’s lack of aggressive economic planning and the favoritism necessary to get anything done at city hall. The lack of transparency and the vicious attacking of engaged citizens, some of which I experienced myself in this latest election. I place the blame squarely on those who voted for our current leadership.
Is this what we really deserve as a city? Did I deserve my late bills, late after my first serious illness, to be used to attempt to shame me and end my bid for a council slot? Do you want people like these representing you?
There is a quiet Revolution happening right now throughout the United Stares. It is a revolution of the feet. When people become disenfranchised, disempowered and disappointed in their hometowns, they are simply leaving for better climes. This has been happening to Gardner for nearly twenty years. Talent and innovation is being replaced by the vindictive and mediocre.