To the editor:
If the events of the past few weeks — the rallies, conversations and lack of decisive political discourse — tell us anything, it’s that Danvers government and residents appear more divided than ever. Despite the divisiveness in Danvers of our current political culture, most residents still rightfully believe in our principles and timeless values enshrined in the Constitution.
I for one will never get tired of hearing about our flawed-yet-brilliant town management experiment. But when we leave the story off there, I think we miss the whole picture of what our town was founded on. Danvers is a town that continues to grow and always gets better every time we challenge the town government’s actions. We are not a finished product; it’s up to our residents themselves to keep building, and even make repairs now and then.
Our recent exercise in the residents demonstrating our displeasure with the town manager’s dictate to remove the Thin Blue Line flag represents our commitment to self-rule. The elected representation has failed and now we must specifically reach out to the legislative process of the Town Meeting.
We need to remember that these typical Danvers dictatorial actions certainly don’t end with the town manager. The failure to consult the entire Board of Selectmen on the political action is unacceptable. Under consideration, we must develop an approach to prevent such outrageous action by an employee of this town.
We should refer this matter to a special Town Meeting to resolve this politically disturbing action by our town management. We must protect and defend the elected Town Meeting body to address such sensitive issues as the Thin Blue Line flags. Town Meeting is where the buck stops. Our Town Meeting members have taken up the torch to protect our town from tyranny and abuse by our current leadership and political representation. Danvers must strive to have government not only of the people but for all the people.
When I think about those who were brave enough to stand up in the past, the reflection is at first personal. I emigrated from Eastern Europe to start a new life in the United States a mere 60 years ago. We settled into an ethnic neighborhood in Boston. Life wasn’t easy for my family, but they did what they had to do. Like Danvers’ founders, we were ready to build something new and better, if not for ourselves, then for future generations.
I have memories of dictatorial and communist government actions. Grocery stores were empty and survival was dependent on unelected, appointed government agents. Government control (local, state and national) is now becoming ingrained and rampant. We are being trained to comply.
We all have individual and family stories of which we can be proud. But the greatest story, the one most deserving of our pride, is that which belongs to all of us. The reality of our great town is that we have all put in and continue to put in the work to make sure Danvers prospers.
I know that Danvers residents actually get along with and care about each other. However we must take liberal, national politics out of the local politics. Our town government has become embroiled in the liberal state and national politics and now has become toothless and afraid of its own actions. Elections have consequences, our selectmen need term limits to focus on their constituents.
The voters and residents in Danvers deserve decisive and deliberate actions from our elected representatives. Recent actions and reactions were totally preventable if and when our elected selectmen were really involved in running this town. Our town government has become authoritarian and dictatorial in their recent actions. However our Board of Selectmen fell asleep and the town is managed on autopilot. The board has abdicated its responsibilities and therefore we definitely need strong Town Meeting action and we need it now.
Precinct 7 Town Meeting Member