John Allen: Cites haranguing by a few people in Hadley

  • jacoblund

Monday, April 16, 2018
Cites haranguing by a few people in Hadley

I sat in recently on a conversation between senior citizens and a candidate for election.

The subject was proper decorum, and the current culture in Hadley. There was a desire for change.

They especially did not like the prejudice and disrespect they see shown to new people or those not in the “in group.” They also did not like the fact that some elected officials do not control their meetings and allow some speakers or board members to berate and intimidate participants.

I listened from the perspective of being a veteran, a former selectman and a handicapped senior. In the end, the group affirmed that Hadley is actually a welcoming, friendly, caring and compassionate community but some of our leaders allow conduct that signals the exact opposite. This can be fixed if our elected leaders support a culture that prohibits rude, disrespectful and intimidating behavior at meetings.

Recently, a member of the American Legion was before the Select Board complaining about the effect of the senior center project on Legion parking spaces. When he almost crossed the behavior line, he graciously accepted a reprimand from the chairperson of the Select Board. After the meeting, he noted that he appreciated the respect he was afforded, despite being gently and compassionately admonished.

Those in the discussion group who saw this interaction applauded the conduct of this particular meeting. The people of Hadley are tired of the haranguing caused by the same few who are opposed to the senior center and library even though both projects have received wide voter support on several occasions.

The many veterans who support the projects do so for many reasons, including that the new buildings will allow access to many more people and will provide handicapped-accessible bathrooms, plenty of handicapped parking and wheelchair access.

They look forward to the chance to build a stronger community center for the growing numbers of seniors in Hadley. In this regard, they are acting selflessly for the benefit of the many, just as they did when they served in the armed services.

John Allen