To The Daily Sun,
To Moultonborough Selectman Paul Punturieri:
Civility at town meetings is very important. Civility is also important when you are dealing with people whose opinions differ from yours. Civility is something you failed to demonstrate this weekend, when you accused an entire group of people as being conspirators in an attempt to hijack the town meeting for our own purposes.
I understand that perhaps by now you realize that you arrived at the wrong conclusion because the "ringleader" of this so-called conspiracy has offered an explanation for his decisions at town meeting. What is really very damaging in this situation is that you have used your blog as the platform to spew vitriol about the town citizens at the meeting who were there to vote "no" on Article 2, and you just cannot accept that the "no" vote prevailed. There were many mistakes made at that fiasco of a meeting, but most of them occurred on the stage, not among the voters.
The moderator did the best he could, but neither motion to reconsider should have been accepted, as we "lay" people now know, and the town attorney was of limited help in this situation. That aside, it was just plain wrong of Chris Shipp, who chairs the Board of Selectmen, to make the motion to reconsider in the first place since the "no" vote was so overwhelming, 348-220. It is no wonder the audience erupted in fury when he made the motion and you seconded it. It was clear to many that neither of you could even pretend to be objective. This action by you and Chris was a flagrant violation against the will of the legislative body.
The next item is this: it is not the function of an elected town official to push any personal agenda, which you have done consistently within the past year or more with your enthusiasm for a gym/rec. center/community center. Under the guise of providing clear and accurate facts to the voting public, you have demeaned anyone who fails to share your views, referring to our inaccurate information and so forth. I stand by the points I made in my recent letters to the editors of two local papers, as well as the content in the ad sponsored by the 21 "conspirators."
I am not alone in my disappointment in you, and recent events have prompted my decision to say something about it. Many people who voted for you two years ago cannot understand your changes in position and your obstinate attitude of brushing aside those who don't share your views. You are entitled to change your mind, and you of course are free to vote whatever way you choose, but pushing your views on voters is just plain wrong. Your claim to represent everyone is not borne out by your actions. You can disagree with me on this, and I am sure you will.
It would be appreciated, I am sure, if you would apologize to those you so maliciously maligned.
Sent with civility, on behalf of the responsible citizens who attended Town Meeting.
- Category: Letters
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