Dolan guest comment only tells half the story
I don’t know Ms. Dolan, but do not care for her two-part assault on council members. It is obvious in her detail-filled rant that she learned her craft well while at CNN. Tell half the story, attack while only revealing some of the facts and finish with a smug confidence that half a story is good enough to convince most of the people.
I also don’t know how long Ms. Dolan has resided in Talbot County, but obviously she is comfortable naming and attacking many of the families who have a long history of service, commitment and accomplishments in this area. These family names have long been associated with many good deeds and fill the lists of donors and board members of our many charitable and nonprofit organizations. Because they made donations to legally registered candidates in a local election should not be reason to impugn their character.
The other half of the story she casually omits: The brutal attack on Jennifer Williams by a small group of people who were angry she didn’t agree with them on two sensitive issues. Both the sound ordinance and the short-term rental bills were thoroughly discussed in public forums. The coverage was extensive and created very strong stands by people on both sides. After many hours of consideration, Mr. Pack, Mr. Callahan, Mr. Bartlett, Ms. Price and Ms. Williams made decisions they felt were appropriate. That is the function of council members.
Ms. Dolan complains that “it is shameful 100 citizens in Rio Vista and Bentley Hay signed a noise petition, and the council voted against them.” Should 100 people make the decision for the whole county? I hope our county doesn’t make decisions based on a petition signed by a vocal minority.
After the votes on both issues were completed, the opposing side organized and funded a directed and unprecedented attack on one council member, Jennifer Williams. Signage, and an organized campaign of letters to the editor, filled the senses of anyone who drives in the county or reads our local paper. Even the local head of the Talbot Democratic Party expressed his disdain for the personal attacks. Frankly, many people on both sides of the issue felt it was disgusting. Eventually, very late in the election process, many of Ms. Williams’ supporters felt a response to this degradation of local campaign ethics was required. They organized and responded by forming Common Sense Talbot PAC. The breakdown of donations for this organization seems to be an indictment of individuals who supported Ms. Williams. But in several cases they came from people who were repulsed by the tactics of the “County Over Politics” group. How about a detailed accounting of this group’s donors?
Your guest comment on this issue doesn’t fit the “rural character of our county” you so ardently espouse. It better reflects the national partisan landscape which tears our country apart. Take a deep breath. Meet these people you have attacked. Understand their long history of contributions and efforts to keep our county both rural and vital. If you have a conversation with Jennifer Williams, you will be surprised how much decency and graciousness she has in common with my favorite president, George H. W. Bush.