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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Resigning Because You Don't Get Your Way is Not Leadership

It is the job of the Selectman to lead not only by vote but by example as well. Resigning because he did not "get his way" demonstrates anything but leadership.

I was disappointed to read about the recent resignation of Selectman David Van Dam as liaison to the Recreation Committee.

It is the job of the Selectman to lead not only by vote but by example as well. Resigning because he did not "get his way" demonstrates anything but leadership. In fact it is akin to the child who refuses to play in a game unless they are granted the position of their choice.

I was even more disappointed to learn that Selectman Van Dam has not been present for a number of recent Recreation Commission meetings. What message does that send to those who serve on the Commission? That their time and votes do not count unless they coincide with Selectman Van Dam's point of view?

These are volunteers who give up their free time to serve this community in a positive way and cast their votes according to what they believe is the best decision for the town.

The town is best served by those who lead not those who quit. The nature of committee's and government in general is that votes are not usually unanimous and I would expect that those who run for office or chose to become involved do so with the understanding that they may not always get their way.  I would also expect that they do so because they feel they have something positive to contribute- quiting is not a positive contribution.
 
Leah Ryan
Precinct 2
Duke Street

J. Lincoln November 28, 2012 at 05:25 AM
It's funny because when I read this story in the reporter, even though it was a complete puff piece, I thought the same thing as Ryan and I don't even know who's on the rec commission. It just seems to me that someone who wants to be seen as a leader doesn't quit a small town committee because they don't get their way. I've actually watched the BOS meetings on TV and Van Dam seldom seems prepared. He also seems horrifyingly inarticulate, almost bumbling. In one of the meetings I watched he made an inane traffic suggestion that the rest of the Board had to explain to him would mean that drivers on Burrill street would have no way direct way of getting onto Humphrey street. It was pretty funny in a sad sort of way. I mean really, volunteer or no, is this the best we can do?
Dave Arsenault's Basement November 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM
well, no one ever said intelligence was required in the position. sure, it's a thankless job, but presumably you want to do the job to serve your town, not serve your own interests. but when something doesn't go your way, you take your ball and go home? please.
Chris Helms (Editor) November 30, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Hey everyone, this is Chris Helms. I'm filling in for Terry this week as he takes a much-deserved vacation. Thanks for the lively commentary, but let's keep it family-friendly. I've removed two comments for language. Here are the rules we each agree to by commenting here: http://swampscott.patch.com/terms

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