My View

A “nutjob” for accountability

By LISA GLOVER
Posted 7/22/20

At a commissioner’s meeting on July 10, Wayne County resident Robert Suhosky, quoted in Wayne-Pike News, used the word “nutjob” to describe someone (myself) who has been calling for …

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My View

A “nutjob” for accountability

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At a commissioner’s meeting on July 10, Wayne County resident Robert Suhosky, quoted in Wayne-Pike News, used the word “nutjob” to describe someone (myself) who has been calling for Wayne Commissioner Joe Adams to resign.

I find it disconcerting that the board president of Wayne Memorial Health Foundation uses derogatory remarks about mental illness to dismiss the arguments of those he disagrees with. That being said, as a relatively new resident who is vocal on local issues, I’m not upset about being called a “nutjob.” Positive reputations are earned over time, and name-calling is a type of social-shorthand that helps us to determine who is and isn’t worthy of our trust.

Did commissioner Adams act in a way that merits his resignation? I encourage you to examine the facts and make your own judgment. They are gleaned from “Right to Know” requests of commissioners’ emails, direct conversations, Dave Harvey’s discussions with Bold Gold Media employees and Wayne County officials, and statements made by the commissioners at various public meetings.

According to Harvey’s blog, two Bold Gold Media employees told him that Adams had called their office multiple times during the day on June 3 demanding that their Wayne-Pike News article titled “Peaceful Protest Planned for this Thursday in Honesdale” be taken down. It was removed. Adams strongly denies that he made this demand. Bold Gold Media has since been silent on the matter.

Adams made a statement in the evening on June 3 to Wayne-Pike News that good people with good intentions were “creating [an] opportunity for bad people with bad intentions from miles outside of our community to come in and destroy our community.” He says he spoke in belief of a credible threat. According to the law, for a threat to be credible it must be made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat. In a conversation according to Harvey, D.A. Howell wouldn’t confirm that he had received any “threats” beyond second-hand rumors on social media.

In a prepared statement on June 25, Adams said that he “never even heard the term Antifa until after June 5.”  On June 3 at 11:38 a.m., Wayne County Sheriff Steelman sent an email to Adams and other public officials saying that “there has been some talk that ‘Antifa’ will be bussing its members to the rally from Binghamton, NY.” Additionally, Antifa has been discussed on major news outlets since 2017.

The commissioners have repeatedly said that they take every threat seriously. Adams specifically said that he “errs on the side of caution.” Per their action of notifying the state police, the commissioners took the rumors of Antifa bus rioters seriously. On the morning of June 4, a concerned local emailed the commissioner’s chief clerk, Andrew Seder, with social media screenshots of a Hawley resident and his friends threatening to run over protesters in Honesdale: calling them “speedbumps” and posting pictures of trucks with grill guards, with the caption “crowd control.” Per a conversation with PA State Police Sergeant Boettcher, the commissioner’s office did not forward this information onto their agency.

Perhaps I am a “nutjob,” but if I am, I am a “nutjob” for accountability: I believe that no public official is beyond scrutiny, and I demand honesty and competence from those elected to govern. Given the facts above, I am of the opinion that commissioner Adams is abusing his power and is more concerned with potential property damage than real threats to people’s lives. That’s why I’m calling for his resignation. You are encouraged to come to your own conclusions.

Lisa Glover is a Honesdale resident who spends her spare time on community art and design projects.

For a news story on this issue, click here.

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