To the editor:
Mr. Roger Bennis, at the Oct. 15 Town Council meeting, had given his alternate proposal and questioned verbiage on the ordinance amendment — Chapter 47- Foreclosed and Vacant Properties — that Solicitor Teitz had presented to the council. Because of the problems that Mr. Bennis brought to their attention, it was determined by the council to continue discussion on Oct. 28.
The Town Council meeting on Oct. 28 was a spectacle to behold. Solicitor Teitz presented and read the changes before the council. Mr. Bennis was still concerned with the language in the amendment and got up to ask questions and was allowed to sit before the council.
Town Council President Ed Roderick joked that they were in a hurry because the Red Sox’s were playing and to keep it brief. Mr. Bennis had many questions and didn’t understand some of the changes. President Ed Roderick once again became impatient with anyone who questions him and tried to shut him down.
At this point the town sergeant went over to Mr. Bennis and proceeded to request that he leave his seat. The police chief also came down from the back of the room to move in if needed.
Mr. Bennis was visibly upset with this, didn’t know who she was and asked, “Who are you?” I could hear her say to him that she was the town sergeant, insisting that he needed to move from his seat and not speak any further.
I asked why he couldn’t speak. The police chief, who was near me, motioned to her to let him be. What was going to happen next — have this escalate and have Mr. Bennis removed?
Mr. Bennis then settled down and asked more questions. He just didn’t want unintended consequences to happen to people in town from this amendment. The changes which were marked in some manner in the paperwork were clarified to him. When he felt he understood, he thanked the council and took his seat in the audience.
Mr. Bennis cares about his town and how the government operates. He is an articulate and knowledgeable man. He took the time to carefully proofread and consider the language used in the amendment, pointed this out to the council and this was the way he was treated. In my opinion, it showed me that Solicitor Teitz hadn’t done his due diligence on this document. The Town Council’s behavior toward Mr. Bennis was reprehensible.
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