The Forecaster’s subjective reporting of Freeport Town Council elections is disappointing. It is not in the purview of reporters lacking contextual participatory experience, which enables discriminate analysis of fellow citizens’ intentions and actions, to instill divisiveness in a community process. Antagonistic press injecting words such as “tumultuous” and “sarcastic” undermines our incumbents, altogether threatening and disenfranchising potential participants in the democratic process. These neighbors dared to leave the comfort zone of quiet observer or ineffective complainer, to proactively represent dynamic needs and diverse voices in the larger scheme of municipal government. Given large voter turnout with close results, the headline’s implication that Freeport “threw out” incumbent town councilors is inflammatory. Failure to interview supporters of Gunning, Migliaccio, or Pandora and biased characterizations by opposition supporters renders these articles sensationalistic. The essence of Town Council is not a contest of political wills, financial resources, influential connections or elite interests.
Despite the tone this election, I am optimistic that our council and citizenry will in fact be stuck in the minutia of the Town Charter, policies, and ordinances which are fundamental to civil, comprehensive discourse and uphold transparent, accountable government. Our vibrant community should not be mired in oppositional perceptions of Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal; rather, let’s commit to an inclusive, forward-thinking approach that optimizes the myriad resources available to enhance the quality of life for those who live, learn, work, and visit in Freeport.