Letter: Theberge’s heavy-handed tactics disturbing
Here is a consideration for Gloucester readers regarding board of supervisors’ candidate Louise Theberge before voting in the Republican primary on June 11.
I attended many Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission meetings as a citizen during the time Ms. Theberge was its chairman. Two incidents stand out that I find very disturbing, though there were many: 1) During one of the meetings, a film crew was taping. No answer to our query as to whom the "press" was. Days later, we found out it was Al Jazeera! Attendees should have been informed of this before the meeting started. 2) At this same meeting, during the initial three-minute comment period, several citizens had taken a great deal of time to prepare comments addressing ongoing environmental issues the MPPDC was pursuing. Apparently the rules had been changed and the three-minute comment period would now only permit items on the agenda to be addressed. Problem: The agenda had not been posted on the website due to some glitch and no one knew what was on the agenda until arriving. As several citizens were told "no" to comments, one of the citizens protested to Chairman Theberge in a frustrated but not disorderly fashion and insisted her comments pertained to the general overall ongoing work. Ms. Theberge ordered her to sit. More protesting. After a minute of this, Chairman Theberge then simply had Mr. Lawrence call the sheriff. It was appalling and all taped on Al Jazeera. Later that evening, one of the members of the MPPDC actually said that some of the comments and accompanying data had actually been very helpful in the past.
The same Ms. Theberge is vice chairman of the Gloucester Republican Committee. Over the past year, there have been approximately seven membership openings on the committee, which continue to remain unfilled. Ms. Theberge has led the committee, overruling the chair, with a majority of votes against Tea Party applicants, even though these same folks worked diligently during election campaigns and are upstanding residents and active Republicans. I know each one.
This overall general attitude of heavy-handed tactics and distain towards citizen involvement is disturbing at best and should be taken into consideration when voting.
Port Haywood, Va.