Wow! Mr. Pagano should teach a course in BAD politics.
Lesson 1: Talk as if you were there, even though you weren’t.
Lesson 2: Distort the facts.
Lesson 3: Presume to know the other person’s motivations.
Lesson 4: Use the distorted facts and presumptions to make incoherent arguments.
Lesson 5: Attack the person the innocent party.
Lesson 6: When all else fails resort to name calling.
If he wants to be judgmental and ascribe a label it would be that I am a Behaviorist – I expect people to behave appropriately, especially elected officials in public. But let’s deal with the facts:
- My email distributions as were appropriate, as acknowledged by Township Legal Counsel.
- After I spoke briefly with 2 gentlemen at the back of council chambers Ms. Witty ‘got in my face’. You can ask the 2 gentlemen who were there. In fact at least 1 person on the dais all the way at the front of the room over 50 feet away heard her rants as well.
- I did not criticize her ‘Coffee with Committeewoman’ events; I pointed out that her ‘Town Hall’ meeting should have been hosted by and included the entire Township Committee.
- I don’t dismiss anyone, even defamatory critics like Mr. Pagano. I have a record of listening to and working with all citizens. Mr. Pagano has argued with me in the past and I have been nothing but respectful and diplomatic with him.
- I have not ‘attacked’ Ms. Witty. I made comments at a public meeting after her infamous social media posting, which she left up for hours even after several people advised her to take it down. That posting was obnoxious and offensive to my Jewish friends, Democrats and anyone with a conscience and I said so. I was but one of dozens of outraged citizens that spoke up that night.
- This is America. As a private citizen I get to choose who I want to communicate. When I was an elected official I received emails from citizens that included 1, 2, 3 , 4 or none of the other Township Committee members. Nothing has changed in the law since then.
The trouble is that I don’t play in Mr. Pagano’s world with his autocratic rules. He is clearly a political ally of Ms. Witty. He knows she has a ‘damaged’ image from her own self-inflicted wounds and now, to protect her, he goes after the person who came forward to describe her abhorrent behavior. Unfortunately this is not baseball where you get 3 strikes – this is real life community leadership where every strike counts and matters to the people who put their trust in you!
As Teddy Roosevelt stated 'It is not the critic that counts'. As TR would note... Mr. Pagano chooses to criticize from the sidelines as a 'cold and timid soul' that never enters the Montville Township elected public service arena.
He is right about 1 thing – Ms. Witty is an elected representative of the people. As such she should respect all of her constituents, even those that disagree with her or believe her performance is unsatisfactorily. And when a mistake is made, don’t try to divert the attention away or have your political allies attack – a true leader owns up to the mistake, learns from it and doesn’t repeat it. And while she ultimately owned up to her first big communication mistake she has not learned from it!