David O'Brien | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

David O'Brien 
Member since Sep 8, 2016


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Re: “Rutland First: Vermont's Homegrown Opposition to Syrian Resettlement

I declined to talk to Paul Heinz because it was clear he was going to do a biased piece on this issue. He completely ignored the reams of information we provided him regarding the secretive process that included the Mayor, VRRP, members of the Shumlin Administration and Congessional offices. All who actively worked to keep this project a secret from the Board of Alderman, city department heads and of course the citizens.

Clearly this article was written to paint Rutland First as bigoted, and anti-humanitarian. Our group as Matt Howland described it is simply demanding transparency and a program that can work for Rutland. We are a small town of very modest means. I personally regret some of the comments made by people who did post hateful things about people from Syria and other countries. That's intolerant and unacceptable. But do not be distracted by the narrative, many very good people in town who simply want better transparency and questions answered have been labeled as bigots. That's also unacceptable.

The unfortunate situation we find ourselves in is the result of the Mayor's secrecy and lack of leadership that has divided our community. Not once has the Mayor sought to meet with our group, to see if we could find common ground. That says it all in my opinion. That is a narrative that a Paul Heinz or this newspaper would never address.

17 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by David O'Brien on 09/08/2016 at 8:15 AM

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