Disappointed in Conway officials

Friday, November 24, 2017

I am very disappointed by the words and actions of town officials in Conway at the Oct. 30 special town meeting. A bylaw to officially make Conway a “Safe Community” was tabled in a narrow 59-56 vote through a misuse of Robert’s Rules of Order by Police Chief Ken Ouimette, as noted in the Recorder’s Nov. 1 article, “Conway tables Safe Communities question.”

Selectboard Chairman John O’Rourke warned of Conway becoming a beacon for drug dealers and terrorists if the resolution passed, echoing the fear-mongering, anti-immigrant rhetoric of President Trump. I am not afraid of immigrants, and the notion that our tiny town in western Massachusetts could become a hideout for terrorists is ludicrous.

Words have consequences, and I fear for undocumented community members who now feel even less safe in a hostile national political environment. I have felt warmly welcomed to Conway by my neighbors since moving here, and it saddens me to think that some think this welcome should only be extended to those with a certain immigration status.

Brendan O’Connell