Letter: Yarmouth councilors must be held accountable

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It is worse than bad judgment for any Yarmouth town councilor to utilize social media to attack, ridicule or disparage the opinions of Yarmouth residents – or worse, of another councilor. But it is happening. Yarmouth residents must prohibit this practice and demand a severe penalty for violations. And we can.

As this newspaper reported, a distinct disquiet in Yarmouth generated by actions of some councilors erupted into a succinct citizens petition. That petition supported a formal, written Town Council Code of Conduct. The petition garnered approximately 500 signatures in about two weeks.

Unsurprisingly, the council reacted immediately, but did not act hastily. But internal dissension is appearing. I believe some councilors actively oppose the recall provision proposed in the petition and hope to avoid including it. Without such a provision, violation of the code will have no certain consequences. It becomes a meaningless document. Petition proponents must stay vigilant.

Yarmouth residents must maintain pressure on the council to present a Code of Conduct that includes a recall provision. Improper use of social media must specifically be addressed. Town councilors represent all residents of the town, not solely those with similar agendas. They should never be permitted to mock, ridicule or disparage those who hold opposing points of view. Such writings should be specifically prohibited, constituting grounds for a recall referendum. Tell our councilors you agree.

Bill Gardiner

  • Kevin Carolan

    I have followed this a bit, at the councils last meeting the recall provision was one of the topics discussed. Chair Pat Thompson brought up the subject noting the council will go through the process, the public wants this. Town Manager Nat Tupper added it will require a change to the town charter and the public will have to vote the provision in. Councilor David Craig asked ” do we want to spend our time this way “. Councilor Timothy Shannon who appears to have drafted the language of the code of ethics responded ” I want no part of it “.