I like having a blog dashboard on my computer. From this electronic dashboard I can monitor information about my online writings. My statistic report, on blog readership, shows that on January 9th, I had 55 readers. Now that is darn smashing cool. Thanks you all! Fun.

Before I return to the topics of road construction and open space issues, I want to stay diverted on the wood chipper tale for a moment since a reader brought up the issue of bullying.

This segue into a bullying conversation arrives too easily for me; but I want to write it to put it to bed. Here I will quickly tell a story that is meant to unfold over the course of one year.

Woman asks at town meeting, “Is it true that you are going to pay an elected official $10,000 to do a project that is not going to bid?”

“Yes” they answered. Township attorney, “Have you heard of public contract law? Public contract law means things don’t have to go to bid if they are under $17,500.”

“Does that apply to elected officials?” I ask?

And then no one knew the answer; they had to pay the township attorney $2000 to write a position on why it was ok to pay an elected official $10,000 for a job that was not going to bid. And this document they released only in executive session, and when requested through open public records, they would not release this document to anyone in the public who asked to see it. Still havnt seen what I (am I not the client of the township attorney?) asked for in February of 2009.

So then what happened? My character was attacked, elected officials started telling lies about me, and they tried to get me fired from my job by stirring up paperwork requests and building information with the local town for whom I was working. They told me I was out of line. They told me I was disrespectful. They wrote letters about me saying I was “a cancerous venom.” They pulled funding they had committed to a project I was implementing with the Nature Conservancy, the township attorney lied about me at another business meeting, and I am sure I am forgetting a few things.

And what did I do? I filed a very important “self preservation” complaint in a high State office (so that there is an open case with evidence collecting about my incidents- but no action has been taken at this time), and then I just kept going to town meetings… asking for good transparent government. And this has really set them off- that I did not run away screaming… and that I keep coming to town meetings…

Relative to the real bullying I have endured, the wood chip bullying is almost welcomed.

Although, of course they have altered me significantly that I would even write something such as this- welcoming the more passive aggressive bullying.

Since the goal (remember from this blogs home page) is to write a utopian novel… I must close with a note to self: there is grave slippage in a culture that sees giving a 5 year old a wood chipper as a gift ; I find it relational in some ways to the Arizonia shootings of this weekend. This is a culture of fear and hate and rage that I don’t want to participate in. Where did “live and let live” migrate? I want to go there.