Two weeks back I sat down with a cold beverage to watch the Select Board debate between John Coutinho and Amy Ritterbusch. Both candidates are good people and both care deeply about Hopkinton. I was surprised when it ended so abruptly. In the days following “the debate” numerous residents shared their frustrations with me about the tone of our local political dialogue. It seems the town, like John Coutinho, is fed up with the abusive, nasty, snarky, misinformed and petty drivel some feel necessary to post on social media sites originally intended to foster healthy dialogue. “Keyboard Warrior” is the term many use to describe those that post online but would never speak the same words in a public meeting or to an individual directly. On several occasions I have contacted those that have attacked me online and shared my cell phone number with them. I have encouraged them to call me directly. They never do.
John’s refusal to debate in this environment brought attention to an issue that has been growing in town for years. I am with John Coutinho … enough with the accusations, personal attacks and blatant spread of misinformation. If you want the facts, please watch the public meetings held across our local government. If you want to voice your opinion, please step up to the microphone and voice it for all to hear. Defend your position in the public eye rather than posting a nasty gram, then deleting it, only after you have inflicted significant pain on others. We have serious financial issues to address in the coming months and years due to the pandemic. It’s time to denounce those that tear our community apart and work together towards achieving our collective community goals.
John and I don’t agree on everything. We do agree on moving Hopkinton forward in a positive manner. He has earned my vote with his leadership throughout this campaign, and his last six years on the Select Board. I hope his strong leadership has earned your vote as well.
— Brian Herr, Hopkinton, Select Board member
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