MacBeth upset with party language, will back DaCosta

MacBeth upset with party language, will back DaCosta

As your state representative, I have always represented you on the state level as you have elected me to do. I have also tried to stay out of the local town politics, and this election season was no different. That was until the recent opinion piece written by our current mayor, Daniel McKee, makes reference to long-time resident Chris Ratcliffe as "liar, liar." This political name-calling and bullying when a resident(s) doesn't agree with something happening in our town has to stop. As elected officials we are here to represent the residents of this town, not call them childish names.

As an elected state representative for the town of Cumberland, I have firsthand experiences of the intimidation that is wielded when you don't go along. When the fire district merger resolution emerged, I met with Mayor McKee and Town Council Member William Murray. They presented me with draft legislation. Yes, draft legislation already drawn up (this is what happens when the Town Council President James Higgins has also been given a job drafting legislation at the Statehouse). The legislation I was given I felt was riddled with issues including double digit tax increases that residents won't see until long after the election season. I expressed my concerns and some changes were made to the draft, but many significant issues still remained. When I refused to support the legislation as written, I was told by councilman-now-mayoral-candidate Murray that, "I needed to be taught a lesson." My response to Murray was, "The town Democratic Committee has been trying to teach me a lesson for years. Do you think you are the one to teach it to me?" I answer to the people of this town. It is ironic that Mr. Murray touts himself as the only candidate that is not a career politician. It is clear in the one term as councilman he has chose to align himself with the career politician.

It is the people of this town that have the right to voice their opinions and concerns on all town and state issues. Diamond Hill, Franklin Farms, the Monastery, our education system ... all the things that make the town of Cumberland what it is. It is time that our town is run for the people and not the select few.

It is the town Democratic Committee that decides who will receive the town Democratic endorsements for the primary. Well, shortly before their meeting to endorse, I received a phone call from a long-standing member of the committee. I was asked to publicly endorse their "chosen one" for mayor. I refused. You can guess what happened next. I did not get the endorsement. Coincidence? Not! Why is it that I can be overwhelmingly elected by the voters of this town but at the same time not have the endorsement of the town Democratic Committee? Why is it that the people that support my re-election do so whether I have the endorsement or not. It is because the people of this town know that it is they that I represent and not the do-as-you're-told political machine.

If all that is was not enough, I recently had a conversation with a town Democratic Committee person and was told that nobody likes me. I asked, "Really? Then why do I get re-elected?" The response was, "Oh, I don't mean the voters, I mean the political people in town." That one comment says it all: "Oh, I don't mean the voters, I mean the political people in town."

So, while I was willing to stay quiet and not partake in the small town nasty politics when the mud was aimed at me, I cannot and will not remain quiet when I read that a resident of this town is being treated with childish contempt. After years of trying to work with a local political factions that only works with the select, we now have an option to elect a mayor that is there for the people. A mayor that will respect the voice of the people and not resort to negative name-calling and intimidation. That is why I completely support and personally endorse Manny DaCosta for mayor. He is the candidate that will listen to the people and work with all public officials to do what is right for this town and you. I ask for your support for Manny DaCosta, mayor of Cumberland, on primary day.

Karen MacBeth

State Representative, District 52