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Kathy Gagnon

Citizen's Rights
By Kathy Gagnon
Sep 7, 2005 - 10:53:00 PM

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Once again, MAGIC supportive councilors are denying the citizens their rights. Even though they have been shown numerous times by petitions, which these councilors have “loopholed” and in spite of a lawsuit filed by a local resident in an attempt to see the citizens right to vote not be denied, these councilors are insisting the funds involved be released before the courts have the opportunity to rule. One councilor has publicly stated that in his opinion, the pending litigation will not come to fruition. Since lawsuits are decided by the Superior Court, and this councilor is neither a judge or a lawyer, I believe his comments are premature as is releasing the funds in question.

One of the MAGIC supportive councilors cited numerous examples of reasons why the town might consider withholding allocated funding. The most important reason, over 500 citizens’ signatures opposing the funding, was not one of them.

Another MAGIC supportive councilor referred to it as a political “smoke screen” while next stating that the decision to release the funding was a “political decision” that the council would have to make. This same councilor also tried to ban a fellow councilor who signed the funding petition from being allowed to be included in the meeting at all, citing a “conflict of interest.”

This particular councilor seems to find “conflict of interest” involved whenever someone does not agree with him and consistently denies that he himself might have a conflict of interest while voting, as a councilor, on funding for an organization which he founded and is a member of the board. Neither does he see a “conflict of interest” in appointing an attorney who is also on the board of MAGIC, and has publicly referred to it as “his baby” to represent the town in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the rights of town citizens to vote on funding for MAGIC.

As expected, the two other MAGIC supportive councilors supported releasing the funds before benefit of litigation. One of them cited having a “big problem” with the citizen who filed the lawsuit, and accused him of “running the town.” He then suggested filing a counter claim to recover the town’s attorney costs. If these councilors would simply allow the citizens to vote on the funding as they have repeatedly requested, there would be no need for litigation or attorney costs for anyone. While MAGIC supportive councilors claim to want to allow a citizen vote, their actions say otherwise. The cost of litigation on this matter is not the fault of the citizen looking to protect the right to vote (which is the ONLY thing the lawsuit is seeking), it is the fault of the MAGIC supportive councilors who continue to deny citizens the right to vote.

Fortunately, come November, each and every citizen will be allowed to enter a voting booth and cast their vote without denial or intimidation.

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