Political Activity & Free Speech

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Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:16 am

Given that The Rumford Reporter will not publish anything I submit, I’d like to respond, here, to this recent “letter to the editor” of The Rumford Reporter.

BTW, who is The Rumford Reporter editor?

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If the Fire & Police Department Can't Do It, Then the Rumford BOS Shouldn't Either

Submitted by JSN at 6/23/2008 06:00:00 AM


Dear Editor,

After learning that the Rumford Police and Fire Department are not allowed to engage in political activity, I feel that this rule should also apply to our Rumford Board of Selectmen. This year Brad Adley, openly advocated for Rumford voter's to choose both Rob Cameron and Greg Buccina. And, he and his wife also paid for ads in both the Rumford Falls Times and the Sun Journal advocating for the Rumford voter's to elect Cameron and Buccina as well. I do not think that is fair, ethical, or appropriate.

The Rumford Board of Selectmen should be held to the same standards that they are holding the Department Heads and employees to. Whether Brad Adley meant to or not, it gave the appearance that he was trying to stack the Board with people who support his ideals and agendas. When in fact, we need a diverse group of people on the Rumford Board of Selectmen to ensure that all the perspectives are heard and acted upon.

This year I would like to suggest that we create a new ordinance that ensures that future Rumford Board of Selectmen members be held to the same standards as the Police and Fire Department and that they not be allowed to engage in political activity of any kind or be allowed to influence an appointment of any kind.

Jennifer Norris
Rumford Citizen

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Jennifer Stowell-Norris has one thing right. The rules should be applied equally. Where she is dead wrong is restricting anyone from engaging in political activity and their right to free expression. I was amazed to learn a while ago that municipal contract language restricts municipal employees from engaging in political activity. It would appear to me that such contract language abridges one’s constitutional rights. I would urge all union members make this an issue during their next round of contract negotiations and remove this repressive language from all contracts.

I stated previously at The Rumford Free Press that I felt The Rumford Reporter has the support of a majority of Rumford’s citizens. At least one disagreed with me. Evidence of that support would be if Jennifer Stowell-Norris is successful in enacting an ordinance preventing any citizen of Rumford from engaging in political activity and exercising their right to free speech.


Last edited by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by C on Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:58 am

I wonder if everyone would interpret their contract the same? I can't believe they wouldn't have a right to stand up for their livelihood. The selectment were allowed to post signs and stand at the doorway and shake hands on voting day why can't others support their own cause?
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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:20 pm

Can someone help me? I am a little confused. That's what happens when one relies on The Rumford Reporter for information.

Is it contract language or a town ordinance that restricts municipal employees from exercising their right to free speech?

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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by Admin on Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:46 pm

I believe it's a town bi-law.

If that is true, since when does a town bi-law override someone’s constitutional rights?
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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by C on Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:01 pm

Given that The Rumford Reporter will not publish anything I submit, I’d like to respond, here, to this recent “letter to the editor” of The Rumford Reporter.

BTW, who is The Rumford Reporter editor?

In the above article the "Rumford Citizen", the submitter JSN, and the editor of TRR are one and the same.
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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:02 pm

If it's a town by-law, it will (or should) be challenged. I encourage the affected parties to do so.


Last edited by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:05 pm

C wrote:In the above article the "Rumford Citizen", the submitter JSN, and the editor of TRR are one and the same.

So, she's still talking to herself.

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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by C on Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:02 pm

Supporting the candidates would have gotten them in trouble. But I don't see here where they can't garner support for their budget.


Section 10. Political Activity. No member of either department, regular or special, including the chief, acting as an individual or in concert with others, shall participate, direct ro indirectly, in any act or program designed to, or tending to influence the election of any Town official or to influence the appointment of any person. Violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute a cause for suspension or dismissal under the provisions of section 8 hereof.
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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by xmashen on Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:22 pm

T, can I ask if, when you submitted your letters to TRR, if you included your full name (including all nicknames, alias, etc), address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, child's favorite toy, dog breed and color of last socks worn? that may be why your letter was not printed....

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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by C on Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:46 pm

don't forget any and all information that may be used against you as well as which way the streetlights near your house face.
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Re: Political Activity & Free Speech

Post by T on Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:45 pm

T, can I ask [yup] if, when you submitted your letters to TRR, if you included your full name (including all nicknames, alias, etc) [nope], address [nope], telephone number [nope], date of birth [nope], social security number [nope], child's favorite toy [nope], dog breed and color of last socks worn [nope & nope]? that may be why your letter was not printed....


Of course this is why…

The Rumford Reporter is not interested in ideas. The Rumford Reporter is interested in identifying the people behind the ideas. It’s ironic considering much of what it posted on The Rumford Reporter is done anonymously. Jennifer Stowell-Norris demands to know my identity yet doesn’t have the courage of her convictions to admit on her own website that she is its “editor”.


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