As a fledging Probation Officer in Merrimack County in the early 70’s I dealt with a number of people coming out of the State Hospital on Probation. As a matter of policy we would ask to see their discharge papers, make a copy and put it in their file. On more than one occasion the person would say, “I just showed you my papers that say I’m not crazy, can I see yours?” You know what, I could never produce mine and I always got a big chuckle when that happened.
The last Exeter Selectman’s meeting made me think of this when, in my opinion, the local chapter of the lunatic fringe, didn’t have their papers checked at the door. The anger could be felt on TV and the attacks were way over the top. If they acted this way at a hearing in the legislature, security would have been called and they would probably be removed while the hearing was recessed.
The direction of the attacks was the allegation that the Board of Selectman was trying to disenfranchise the voters on the budget committee warrant article. If I remember right, and I could be corrected, the issues the angries were attacking the Board on were actually under the control of the Town Clerk. What I saw was this situation has never happened in the Town in the past and the Town Clerk, who I have, a lot of respect for, and the Board of Selectman were trying to work to straighten this out, which did get straightened out, so what is the problem. I know it was just another excuse to attack the Board or the Town Manager; this was all amplified by a full moon.
There was a funny side to last night and that was when Frank Ferraro was complaining that no one listens to him. Well Frank, if that is the situation, maybe you should talk to the Board to see what they think of your credibility. If you talk behind other selectman’s backs, if you do that, if you hang out with people who some have the opinion are a little different, and you actively campaign as a selectman against other selectmen’s campaigns, if that is the case; I might have an idea why people do not listen to you, if they don’t.
I met Dennis Brady and he is a likable person; but, he showed up at last night’s meeting with a display of anger that seemed to be choreographed with the angries. I was disappointed with Dennis on this and it showed who his support group is and do not have the best interests of the town at heart.
Although I think the Board and Town Manager collectively could have explained this issue better, as to what the issue was, the problems surrounding it and more clearly state how they worked with the Town Clerk to resolve, they should all be congratulated(except for Frank) on how well they handled themselves in maintaining their cool. They showed good leadership and deportment in how they maintained themselves and I was proud of Matt, Don, Julie and Russ.
My advice is, if you don’t have your papers don’t go before the Board and attack them if you don’t have all the facts.
The above is my opinion on what I observed.