Concerning a recent action by the supervisors

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

To the Editor:
In her sermon on Sunday, Jan. 28, our preacher mentioned bullying in reference to one of the Scripture readings. As I sat there listening, especially focusing on the word bullying, my mind wandered farther and farther from her sermon and drifted closer and closer to a recent Board of Supervisors meeting. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend that night, but my phone has been ringing off the hook — friends and neighbors calling about the sleazy appointment of a new Board member to serve as liaison to and member of the Planning Commission, replacing longtime member Dr. Alan Edwards, who is the supervisor from Jerusalem District, where I live.

As a group my friends and neighbors and I consider their action a very visible and distasteful form of collective bullying. I searched the Microsoft Word Thesaurus to find out what it says about bullying, and here are some synonyms: harassment, maltreatment, singling out, hounding, harrying, discrimination. I also checked for alternate meanings of discrimination, and they are: bias, favoritism, prejudice, unfairness, inequity, bigotry, intolerance. I think our supervisors’ actions that night regarding Alan Edwards reflect nearly all these descriptions of bullying. Please note that I do not always agree with Dr. Edwards, and it is obvious that he does not always agree with many of his fellow Board members. He has, however, served admirably on the Planning Commission for about 30 years. He attended numerous classes and seminars to get educated about the planning process. He almost always expressed a thorough knowledge of and familiarity with planning issues as they arose, and he actively sought public opinion about these issues. I think he was the person who initiated public comments at Planning Commission meetings and then he urged the extension of that event to Board of Supervisors’ meetings.

Alan truly cares about the opinions and concerns of his constituents before he votes. He often solicits my opinion and those of my neighbors.

That fact has often put him at odds with other supervisors. Over the years I have observed several six-to-one votes on agenda items. In my opinion it appears that the remaining supervisors have collectively had enough of Dr. Edwards disagreeing with them and they decided that one way to get his attention is to deny him a voice on the Planning Commission. By the way, it is my understanding that the Planning Commission members were shocked and disappointed at having Dr. Edwards replaced by the Board. He has had their respect both as chairman and later as simply a member of the Planning Commission, and the current chairman stated that as far as he knows no one has expressed dissatisfaction with Dr. Edwards’ planning actions and votes.

To replace him on the Planning Commission without first asking him if he wished to continue serving is an insult to Dr. Edwards and to his constituents, and it reflects very poor protocol and a gross lack of diplomacy, etiquette, and common courtesy by the Board of Supervisors.

My comments are in no way a reflection of my opinion of the supervisor from Capron District, but I strongly urge the Board of Supervisors to reconsider their actions and reappoint Dr. Alan Edwards to the Planning Commission.

Ash Cutchin