To set the stage. I serve as Chairman of the local Historical Commission here in Southbridge. We are charged with maintaining the historical nature of Downtown Southbridge. Now Southbridge has many problems but we do have a wonderful downtown. I wish we had more businesses there but the ones there are going the extra mile to make it a nice place. If anyone has been involved with historical preservation it requires certain things. We limit the amount and size of signs for example.
Lest week we had a meeting of the Commission and sent a list of businesses to the Inspections Department of businesses in the Historic Core of the Town that were in violation of the sign by-law. I am all for upholding the laws weather I agree with them or not. We have a process to change the law but until it is changed it is on the books and if I am charged with upholding it, then I will.
One of the businesses that was “targeted” as the local press and one local blogger called it, complained as is there right. Well this blogger decided that the Commission were Nazis for going after this business. Well if he took time to ask questions he would see that we did not “target” this one business and in fact we have been trying to enforce this by-law for the last five years but it was not until a place he frequents was “targeted” that he decided he needed to insult people who volunteer to make this town better.
I am not the first to face this sort of vile “reporting” There is another group in Town who, for the record I do not always agree with, but he has gone after them in the past. To his defense he has served on a Town Board and he did run for Town Counsel and I do consider him a friend.
I am not objecting because he attacked us without all of the information. I have come to expect that from the press after all controversy sells papers and drives blog traffic. But to call someone such a vile name as a Nazi is not only insulting to me but to all of the millions of people that were killed and tortured by the Nazi Party in Germany. There are certain words that we should not use and I believe that is one of them. This is not to deny our past but it does a disservice is we make a punch line out of the horrible events of the past.
I am all for open and honest debate and believe that any issue can be dealt with in an adult manner but when the conversation turns to name calling then the debate falls short of where it should be.
In the end, if the “author” of the blog took time to do some research he would know that we have decided to send the by-law to the sub committee for review and possible change and I support the use of neon signs in the downtown area but for the present time the by-law does not allow them and I choose to uphold the law.
In the past he has asked on his blog why people will not come forward and run for office or seek to be appointed to volunteer committees, well he only needs to read his own pages to realize the reason why, people do not need to nonsense that comes along with being in the public eye. Put the pen down and get in the game!