Letter: Selectman's Behavior 'Casts Doubt' on Ability to Represent Town in Mediation
Medfield resident Jessica Benson writes in to voice her concern over Board of Selectmen chair Ann Thompson's "behavior" at Tuesday's meeting after Thompson repeatedly tried to end public discussion on the Medfield State Hospital and move on in the agenda.
To the editor,
The article, "Mediation of State Hospital Cleanup a Hot Topic at Tuesday's Selectmen Meeting," does not mention that Ann Thompson, after hearing formal reports on the state hospital cleanup, tried to limit the public’s ability to voice concerns about what was presented and ask questions, and only allowed discussion when Pete Peterson stepped in to let people talk and discuss their concerns about the upcoming mediation.
When you have leaders in your town that refuse to listen to their constituents' concerns at a public meeting, then I think, with all due respect to Mike Sullivan, it is difficult to have FAITH in their leadership. At one point, Ann questioned my stake in this by asking me how long have I lived in town compared to her. That doesn't matter Ann, and for your information, I’ve been here for three years, and whether or not I have been here three years or 30 years, your job as selectman is to listen to the public, especially the public that shows up at a meeting.
My fellow residents, watch Tuesday's Board of Selectmen meeting on Medfield.TV to get the full view of what really happened. It's disturbing to me to say the least to see the way we were shut down when we were only trying to get some more answers. Ann said, as justification for shutting down the topic, that according to her constituents, people are tired of hearing about Hospital Hill cleanup. I think the truth is closer to the fact that Ann is tired of the conversation around it.
With all due respect to Ann’s many years of positive service to Medfield while on the board, on this subject, her behavior at this meeting in trying to deny the public’s right to be heard casts serious doubt on her ability to adequately represent the town in mediation. If you are unwilling to listen to your constituents at a public meeting on Medfield State Hospital and in fact, try to repeatedly shut down conversation, how can we have any assurance that you will strongly advocate for us behind closed doors in mediation?
I am asking that Ann recuse herself from the mediation committee and appoint as her replacement, Pete Peterson, who is the natural person to have because he is the one that Bill Massaro has said has given the most support to pushing DCAM for the most thorough cleanup.