There are many signs around town, many are simply ignored (speed limits), but one sign in particular has gained a lot of attention. Maybe a lot more than it deserves. It is the sign on Boston Post Road placed by Mr. Rando, the subject of a lot of talk in town, mainly due to the First Selectman of East Lyme Facebook attack against him.
Love it or hate it, this is not the first sign Mr. Rando has placed by the roadside and probably won’t be the last. He is a small business owner and with each sign takes a risk to be judged by the court of public opinion. It is his choice to do so. It is Not a matter for local government to be concerned with and waste resources on.
With regards to what is written on Mr. Rando’s recent sign, some on social media that oppose it, some have favored it. Although honestly, most people would rather not face the truths that divide us.
I quote Kean Malik: “Patriotism is meaningless if it doesn’t embrace acts of defiance” One mans sign, one mans opinion, one mans act of defiance does not make him wrong, neither does disagreeing with his message. Different opinions makes a democracy. When a community is closed off to different opinions, and try to squash that what does not fit their definition of governance , we as a society are no longer free or a democracy. It’s these very acts of defiance is meant to open our eyes to a larger problem.
As we all grapple with what the coronavirus means for various aspects of our lives, ranging from canceled public and private events to closed schools, unemployment, and small businesses struggle to keep doors and services alive it’s worth asking a fundamental question. What would a normal first selectman say and do in response to this? Attack a resident over his personal opinion? You would think not, but It’s painfully obvious that First Selectman Mark Nickerson is not a public servant or a good leader. With all the issues that face our town our First Selectman repeatedly uses his office to pick fights with residents.
If paying the first selectman a salary to make Facebook attacks wasn’t bad enough, he continues to waste taxpayer money by ordering the town attorney and the zoning official to investigate and find if there is cause to take legal action against Mr. Rando for his sign.
Mark Nickerson will not respect or tolerate a different opinions. Many of times people have witnessed or have been on the receiving end of his profanity laced attacks at town hall meeting for opposing his ideas. He has been eroding the fabric of our small town community for too long. He is a divider, the common denominator in all our towns problems. His lies and coverups cost this town millions in projects that are only to be finished as partially complete. Has he ever been fully dedicated to the office he was elected to?
He has collected a town salary that is larger than the governors of Maine, Arizona, Colorado and Puerto Rico, while only working part time as our first selectman. He claims to love East Lyme, we all seen his propaganda signs and buttons. Somehow he never loved East Lyme enough to contribute to the business economy of our town. State Senator Formica and State Representative Cheeseman ARE East Lyme business owners. Did Nickerson choose Waterford over East Lyme to do business in, because he did not want to pay into the tax fund he continually plunders?
We must continue fighting against his failure by working to restore the normalcy that has been taken from us. That is what it means to have a democracy in these deeply troubled times. One step toward restoring normalcy — admittedly, a symbolic step — is insisting that ordinary standards still mean something, that Nickerson’s bully tactics cannot be glossed over or be set to the side
Let us unite as a town in our own act of defiance, our patriotic act and demand the immediate resignation of Mark Nickerson.
We may not be able to fix the damage that Nickerson has already caused overnight, but at least we can stop him from doing any more harm. Citizens and Public figures ought to be calling on the first selectman to resign from office, to get out of the way and let competent, compassionate, local people who actually wants to improve our town step in.
East Lyme, CT