Cavanagh the subject of offensive name-calling

Cavanagh the subject of offensive name-calling

I agree with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that we live in a culture that accepts violent language against women.

During a public hearing between the Smithfield Town Council and the Smithfield Charter Review Commission, Mr. William Hawkins, an appointed member of the Charter Review Commission, called me “a Republican douchebag.”

I was in the middle of making a motion to reject a proposed amendment related to administrative contracts recommended by our solicitor, Mr. Vin Ragosta, when Mr. Hawkins yelled out “Republican douchebag.” I paused, recognized his statement and continued my motion.

The vote on this motion was five to zero.

As a 76-year-old grandmother of eight and a council member for over 12 years, nothing surprises me.

This is not the first time that a female member of the council has been spoken to or about in this way. I do think it might be the first time it has happened in a public forum.

I have been contacted by other women who were at the meeting, and they equally expressed outrage concerning his language. I don’t think that a person who exhibits this type of verbal public aggression should be appointed a member of any future board.

I would also like to have this letter become part of the permanent 2020 Charter Review record.

I will ask for a comprehensive list of the names of all who were in attendance at the Senior Center and everyone who signed in virtually.

As we ended the five-hour meeting at 1 a.m., I was disappointed that I felt there has been no change in the division between political parties in Smithfield since I was first elected in 2004.

Maxine Cavanagh

Smithfield