Torvi: Silence is also a response

Torvi: Silence is also a response

With new and established candidates lining up for the fall elections in North Smithfield, I write to question what responsibility our elected or appointed town officials feel they must have toward their constituents. A couple of weeks back I wrote to both the town administrator and president of the Town Council expressing my hope that the town and its representatives would take the opportunity to publicly stand up for social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, following the string of horrific events and revelations that have rightfully come to the forefront of the public’s attention. While most residents will never have to worry about the discrimination and violence all too frequently inflicted on people of color, I thought maybe we could still do the right thing and state that North Smithfield is better than that, and aspires to justice for all.

Instead, I heard nothing. Not a response, acknowledgment, agreement or rebuttal of my letter from the administrator or council. I question if ignoring communications from taxpayers is routine regardless of the subject matter, or if this particular subject has sent them all into hiding? Either way, and as I said in my letters to them, silence is also a response. I hope we will not be silent in November, and that anyone hoping to attain public office practices the basic courtesy of office and more importantly, has the backbone to take a stand, even if it is bigger than our little town.

John Torvi

North Smithfield