From the Assistant Editor

Thanks, Judy Flanagan

Posted:  Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 8:30am

I’m glad Judy Flanagan addressed Wiscasset selectmen Tuesday night, about the disgusting storefront sign that tried to insult and perhaps shame her and Chairman Judy Colby over their lack of jumping on the anti-downtown project bandwagon.

There are a lot of good places for debate, from public meetings to a coffee shop over breakfast, letters to the editor and political ads. There is one good way to debate: with respect.

The sign was neither.

As a newspaper, we don’t go around questioning free speech. We’re all for it.We depend on it for our content, but more importantly, it’s both a concept and a right we hold dear. It’s a big part of the reason many of us are in this line of work.

That’s partly why we didn’t run a story on the sign. But there were two overarching reasons, one being Wiscasset police told our Gina Hamilton, they’d received no complaints. The other was, I didn’t want to give the sign’s makers the added attention the words and picture so clearly sought. How great for them if it was publicized in the paper and online, for them to further share, spreading their disrespectful vitriol.

No thank you. We’ll pass. And we did.

This thank you to Flanagan for speaking up about the destructive nature of the sign is not about where people fall on the project; nor were her points. She said what so many in and around Wiscasset must have felt seeing the sign, and what I felt, but I thought in this instance, the comment should come not from an editorial, but from the community. And thanks to Flanagan, via her decision to  speak, it did.