As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I wish to express my appreciation for the Mount Vernon Gazette providing a forum in which local residents can express their views in letters to the editor and thus help educate the public on issues of importance. I often write letters to the editor and the editor typically agrees to publish them. I write letters when I think my fellow citizens need to be aware of important issues confronting our community, when I believe our politicians are not honestly or accurately portraying the issues, and when I see what I perceive to be a wrong that I think should be righted.
Although I am likely more conservative than the average Gazette reader, I try my best to avoid injecting politics into my letters. My letters typically address issues of process, not politics, and I have no problem criticizing politicians of all stripes where I perceive they are not appropriately representing their constituents. I also have no reluctance to criticize local community groups where they take positions I perceive to be out of the mainstream, and I have no reluctance to criticize politicians who rely too heavily on the views of such organizations.
There are over 220 community organizations in the Mount Vernon District and many communities are not represented by a community organization. As such, organizations that purport to speak for a plurality of community organizations should have their views respected by our politicians, but weighted only to the extent of the number of community organizations represented as a whole and the number of them participating in the decisions made. For example, an organization claiming to represent the views of 50 community organizations but in which fewer than half of those organizations routinely attend meetings and vote, should have the weight of their decisions downgraded accordingly.
I wish my neighbors and friends a Happy Thanksgiving and that the adverse impacts from a contentious election will soon subside so that we can move ahead as a community for the greater good.
H. Jay Spiegel