FinCom Chair’s Conduct
To the editor:
You were right to question the Outer Cape’s perception of itself as an “enlightened community” [Aug. 27, Letter From the Editor, page A2], and not simply because an anonymous bigot sent a hate letter to Barbara Rushmore.
One of Provincetown’s most important public officials, Mark Hatch, the chair of the finance committee, has repeatedly posted hateful and degrading messages on social media. He is a serial violator of the finance committee’s code of conduct, which calls on members to “Remember that you represent the entire community at all times,” not just when sitting behind a dais.
Mr. Hatch may think he has a First Amendment right to post whatever he wants online. But he has no constitutional right to hold appointive office. That is a public trust. Yet his comments have been met with cowardly silence from the elected leaders responsible for dealing with his misconduct.
In an enlightened community, one would think the town moderator would take the steps prescribed by the charter to remove an appointee who treats people this way. Failing that, one would hope the select board would exercise its own powers under the charter to discipline him.
I have repeatedly addressed the select board this summer during the public comment period in an effort to pursue action on this matter. But as though we were living in a small Southern town, they have circled the wagons in a conspiracy of silence to sweep this cancer under the rug.
As your editorial noted, hateful sentiments aren’t absent here, they’re just “pushed out of sight.” Sadly, we never expected Provincetown’s leadership to be doing the pushing.
Alan J. Roth
Provincetown and Washington, D.C.
For Banning Plastic Bottles
To the editor:
It wasn’t the islands of plastics floating in distant oceans, the mountains of plastics growing in distant countries, or the close-ups of guts compacted and throats compressed by plastics that made me rethink my pervasive use of them.
It’s nothing so altruistic; rather, it’s the way microplastics personally affect me. While I appreciate plastic body parts, like knees, I loathe the notion of accumulating particulate plastics in the tissue of my heart, brain, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys.
While scientists work to determine the sources and effects of micro bits of polypropylene and polyethylene found in human stool, I am reducing my use of plastic for my own good — and for the greater good of humans, fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds — at least until scientists can reduce the 450 years it now takes plastic to break down in our environment.
My family has stopped using single-use water bottles, and, when possible, produce containers. We have successfully eliminated water bottles because it is cheap and easy. Thermoses have come a long way since my cartoon lunch box days!
Because single-use bottles and caps make up more than 15 percent of total marine waste, Cape Codders now have a chance to address effectively such environmental degradation.
I ask you to join my family by supporting a Cape-wide effort to ban the sale of noncarbonated unflavored water in plastic bottles smaller than one gallon. It’s simple to do: vote for the bylaw in your town.
A Good Story
To the editor:
I am writing to compliment the Independent on its creative and interesting story lines, in particular, last week’s front-page story about spotter pilots by Johnny Liesman. The story was not only informative but very entertaining as well.
Congratulations on bringing additional high-quality weekly reading to the Lower Cape.