As a child, I was always taught not to throw rocks at glass houses. I was appalled to hear the downright negative and disrespectful tactics used in the recent Ayer town clerk/tax collector race. Some residents who were against (incumbent John) Canney took it upon themselves in the last four or five days of the election to tape or stuff an anti-Canney letter to the editor published in the Ayer Public Spirit on Friday, April 18, to the doors of many of Canney's supporters who had signs in their yards.

A political campaign is the free exchange of ideas. It allows for competing positions to be debated. It can become hot and heavy. But it does not have to become personal and nasty. Canney's campaign took the high road. He walked door to door discussing the issues and his future goals for the offices.

For those who thought it was appropriate to do this, I wonder how they would react if a like attack was made against their supporters. Human nature tells me their reactions would range from a loss of faith in their fellow human beings to outright rage.

How did this type of negative behavior become acceptable in political campaigns in Ayer? For those who did this, recognize the responsibility you have to advance your cause in a positive manner, not one where incomplete facts and negativity rule the day. Ayer's elections are too important. The people that Ayer elects control the policies, money and personnel of the town. It is an awesome responsibility.

This new and alarming trend should worry every citizen in Ayer. If this type of campaigning becomes the standard in Ayer, why would good people who want to discuss the merits of issues and have a real vision for the community, want to run, if there is a high likelihood of being attacked. Ayer can do better. The voters have spoken and a new town clerk/tax collector was elected. Those who did this got their change, but at what price?

A very upset

ex-resident of Ayer