Saddened by chairman O’Rourke’s thinking

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I am writing in response to John O’Rourke’s comments on the Conway Safe Community bylaw, as quoted in a front page article in the Greenfield Record on May 29.

I was out of the country earlier this month and unable to attend the Conway Town Meeting, during which voters decisively agreed to protect undocumented immigrants from arrest (the bylaw passed by a vote of 104 to 71).

I write today because I am deeply saddened by the vituperative and careless rhetoric of Conway Selectboard Chairman John O’Rourke. Mr. O’Rourke repeatedly accuses those who voted for the measure of disrespect for the Constitution and the rule of law. I would remind Mr. O’Rourke of the guarantees of free speech that our Constitution enshrines, as well as our 250 year history of challenging unjust laws. I would also remind him of the very sad and shameful period in our history when we wantonly questioned the patriotism of those with whom we disagreed.

Finally, Mr. O’Rourke boasts that he pays no attention to the speech of town residents with whom he disagrees. For shame. These are the words befitting a self-righteous braggart, not a democratically elected leader of town government.

Ruth Bowman