Two statements by public figures caught my attention yesterday. One was from County Executive Kittleman. The other was from Board of Education member Cynthia Vaillancourt. Both address the same topic: vandalism of political signs.
I asked permission to share Ms. Vaillancourt's words because because they are so warm, human, and wise. They made me smile but they also made me think.
"I confess to indulging a colorful fantasy life for how I would "redesign" some campaign signs, or even Rube Goldbergian plans for how to destroy them ---- for the occasional candidate who offends me to my core. Flaming arrows, paintballs, strategically placed additional letters or words... you name it, I have probably given myself a little chuckle envisioning it. Call it "internal creative stress release."
But, PLEASE, do not vandalize campaign signs. That kind of action says more about you than them.
If for no other reason, don't give your least favorite candidates the free publicity that comes from a news story about sign vandalism... or the additional attention.
I once removed a sign that had been placed in my yard for a candidate I definitely did not support. Even then, I felt compelled to call the candidate to let him know that I had removed it in case there had been an honest mistake and some actual supporter was waiting for a sign to arrive... and told him where he could pick it up. Those signs cost money.
Anyway - please don't do it."
Think about how many dirty tricks that have been aimed at Ms. Vaillancourt during her time on the board. It's amazing that she retains such a deep sense of decency and fair play. Many people would have slipped into bitterness or a desire for revenge. Clearly she has not.
There's been quite a bit of talk in the BOE race about values. I'd like to go on the record as endorsing the kind of values Cindy Vaillancourt is talking about here: about doing the right thing even when no one is watching. She's not running for re-election but she certainly is interested in bringing other good people 'on board' to join her.
It's my belief that her inherent goodness will prevail and bring a better Board of Education. But goodness attracting goodness only works if you vote. No matter how you feel about the presidential race this year, please commit to voting in this local race whose outcome will have such a huge impact on students, teachers, and our community.