We’ve received some comments and emails questioning our decision to publish the anonymous letter from “The Committee” that was recently sent to municipal staff.
Some have claimed that doing so contradicts our own policy, which says that we don’t accept anonymous submissions.
Others said it shouldn’t have been published because it gives the letter writer(s) undeserved publicity, will lead to further dissent in our town, or both.
On the first point: our submissions policy applies – clearly, we think — to items that people have written and sent to us for publication.
The letter to town staff was another thing entirely. It was not sent to us directly but to local public servants. It was a disturbing attempt to intimidate them, one that also happened to be anonymous.
As for why we published the letter: we had known of it for several days prior to publication. We chose not to report on it unless we had confirmation from town staff or Councillors that doing so would not lead to unintended consequences.
When on Saturday nine members of Council wrote us about the anonymous letter, and quoted portions of it, we decided to reproduce it in full so that our community would know exactly the nature of the threats made against town staff.
Would it have been better if we’d never published it? We don’t think so. The community reaction to this letter has been almost universally one of disgust, shock or dismay. The letter writers, whoever they may be, now know that such repellant tactics have no place here. No one, on any side of any issue, will stand for them.
We thank you for keeping your many comments on the anonymous letter largely civil and constructive. We hope we won’t be put in the position of deciding what to do about a similar letter in the future.
Brent Eades and Edith Cody-Rice