In defense of the mayor
The letter in Sunday’s (4/4) R-J — taking Mayor Dickinson to task for what he did not say about a bunch of immature yahoos who tried to disrupt and distract from the Stop AAPI Hate rally — got me thinking about qualities I want in a mayor.
As I understand it from the 3/29 R-J article describing the rally (which, by the way, made no mention of the disruptors, either), Mayor Dickinson “condemned racism and discrimination and praised the teens who organized the event for bringing awareness to the issue.” That is not “silence” or “condoning” or “giving confidence” to the disruptors. But apparently that’s not enough for some people.
Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Herbert Bayard Swope said, “I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”
Do I want a mayor who will lose focus because he feels compelled to respond to or opine on everything someone else says or does? No. Do I want a mayor who’s going to say or do something just because someone else — a potential political opponent, for example — says that he should? No. Do I want a mayor who worries that somebody somewhere might be unhappy about something he says — or, in this case, doesn’t say? No.
The ability to focus on what’s really important and ignore distractions. The integrity and authenticity to not seek the elusive and unattainable approval of everybody else. The strength of character to not criticize other individuals — certainly not publicly — and someone who embodies the principle that freedom of speech applies to all, including those with opposing or distasteful viewpoints. That is leadership. And it’s also something else that I require of a mayor — maturity.
Patricia J. Kohl, WallingfordA car on the trail
Seeing a non-official vehicle on Wallingford’s Quinnipiac Trail is alarming. That occurred on April 7 while I cycled south on it and descended from its mid-trail bridge. An occupied car was parked off trail at the foot of it. Was the driver on a joyride on a trail intended to be used by walkers, cyclists and skaters? The issue was public safety. While waiting for officers to respond to my 911 call, I wondered: Was I hallucinating and if officers don’t find a vehicle would I be arrested for making a false report? Or would the car proceed north in an effort to exit the trail and miss police scrutiny; or turn around and move south to exit the trail. My anxiety was partially relieved when two police cars arrived; the barrier across the trail was opened and lawmen moved north. Curious to discover what they learned about the car, I cycled north. When I arrived at the bridge, three vehicles were very slowly backing down from it in order to turn south. The last one was the car which seemingly had been continuing north on the trail. I’d not hallucinated. After turning south, its driver smiled at me, perhaps happy to have been interrupted from what I could only think was a joy ride! According to what she told a policeman it was other than that: a specimen of official business. Really? Whatever, her journey lacked respect for the purposes for which the trail is intended as well as for public safety.
Alfred Mueller, Wallingford End the filibuster
The filibuster is an archaic stratagem, best utilized to strategically defeat the active purpose of designs and pursuits, as proposed by the operating majority archetype, reduce the constructive efficacy (and efficiency) of the Democratic process and to systematically negate the will of the American People ….. one exercised by virtue of their collective vote. It is often a misaligned and nefarious tool, deployed to thwart the advance of many measures proffered by the majority and ultimately give unwarranted access of (ruthless) control to the minority ….. while serving as the greatest impediment to our operational governing process and future hopes.
Today, the filibuster can be favorably compared to the petulant child holding its breath until it begins to turn blue. Capitulation to which renders to the uncorrected and seemingly spoiled child a modicum of unbridled control and severely compromises the attending adult ….. while forming a contrived circumstance that never ends well. Should the forward pursuits and heightened ideals of a Democracy ever fail, it would, in large measure, be a direct result of the senseless impediments unfairly applied by the utilization of the filibuster.
We are at the turning point, where this politically obstructive device is fully recognized as the profoundly foul and corrosive appendage to our system ….. which must be jettisoned with extreme prejudice. If the people’s reflective voice is ever to be heard (loud and clear), we must remove this obnoxious obstacle from our constrained view, to generate a path towards a greater prospect. Our very future may well depend upon it ….. as our enemies look on with extreme interest.
Delmiro D. Gomes, Middletown