Good government requires presentation of all the facts when an issue is argued, so those who hear or read it can make truly informed decisions. Anything less than full disclosure destroys the integrity of one's argument and adds to the cynicism many people feel toward government.
Regarding last week's letter to the editor entitled, "Ayer cannot afford Canney," the authors cited four incidents, but neglected to include all the facts.
They cited Bolduc Enterprise's lawsuit against the town as a claim of a breach of service contract for the purpose of securing "better services" for the people of Ayer. Because this issue is in litigation, and because my duty is to act in Ayer's best interest, I must remain mute; however, that reality does not prevent the authors or anyone else's First Amendment right to make statements or draw conclusions they wish to make without having all the facts. I only ask from you the same consideration you would ask if you were me. Wait until all the facts are known before drawing a conclusion.
The sex offender bylaw posting portion of their letter neglected to mention my working with the Attorney General's Office to make sure the process regarding the posting was correct. "Canney said there was much back and forth dialogue with the Attorney General's Office to ensure the posting was procedurally correct." --Lowell Sun, November 30, 2012 and Ayer Public Spirit, March 23, 2014.
In the portion of their letter regarding the assistant town clerk's workload and pay, they neglected to include the assistant town clerk's statement, "But Fritz (the assistant town clerk) maintained that the issue is not with Canney, since the Town Hall Clerical Union is the entity that negotiates her pay. 'He told me he'd fight for me if I need it.'" -- Ayer Public Spirit, April 4, 2014.
Regarding the hanging of the meeting notices, their letter to the editor never mentioned that upon passage of the newly enacted Open Meeting Law effective July 1, 2010, the duty to post was the "public body holding the meeting" not the municipal clerk. "To get it wrong is to expose the town to liability ... 'Canney warned.'" -- Lowell Sun, September 22, 2010.
When all the facts are known but never stated, confidence in government evaporates as fast as cool water on hot pavement. One of my responsibilities and duties as town clerk and tax collector is to make my colleagues and coworkers aware of issues that affect my offices and how those issues might be addressed from the perspective of those duties and responsibilities. This is what the people of Ayer elected me to do.
Thank you for allowing me to state all the facts, not as I remember them for my own benefit, but as recorded by an independent press in public forums in real time as they occurred.
Ayer town clerk/collector