Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Vergennes alderman accused of ‘political gaming’

I found the article “Mayor won’t run in March city elections” in the Jan. 14 edition left out some important key points on the debate that happened at the Jan. 12 city council meeting. The most important facts that were left out were in the timeline. Alderman Hawley decided in November that, in his interpretation, Donnelly had the right to finish out her elected alderman term. Both Hawley and Donnelly supported this timeline in that meeting. Alderman Huizenga, as a council member, shared that he first heard of this interpretation on Dec. 31 (I find it concerning that the article spent more print on Hawley’s indignation and less on facts). It seems to point to a gaming effort, on Hawley’s part, to share his interpretation of the city charter at a strategic time to most affect the council elections in March.
Hawley has said repeatedly that this is “a slap in the face to Lynne Donnelly” (in large, bold font, no less). However, is not the slap in the face to the voters of Vergennes, perhaps by Hawley himself? The voters in the September Special Election knew what they were voting for. The people of Vergennes made their voices heard. To now dictate a reinterpretation of that election looks to be political gaming at its worst. The election numbers suggest that Hawley does not have the votes he needs to press an agenda and is trying various methods to ensure support, such as: esoteric interpretations of the city charter to disenfranchise Vergennes voters, stirring up the base by martyring an established alderman, and utilizing this publication as a megaphone.
The election cycle has not officially started but we are already off to another ugly election cycle and first out of the gate is Mel Hawley.
Tim Cook
Vergennes

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