On Wednesday, November 25th, the Times published responses to an opinion survey with regard to Councillor Judson’s motion to rename Colonization Road. Those surveyed were residents living on Colonization Road.
Councillor Judson was evidently displeased with this display of public opinion, based on public statements made on social media, specifically, Twitter.
I am not writing to take a position on the motion, although obviously, as resident of Colonization Road, I do have a position. I am writing to call attention to the appalling lack of respect for his constituents displayed in these social media posts. Judging by the content, the councilor must believe no one over 60 has a Twitter account. This is incorrect.
The Tweets in question are quoted verbatim:
“My local newspaper surveyed mostly white people and senior citizens and ran an entire page today where they were allowed to anonymously trash me and make racist objections to renaming #ColonizationRoad. This may be one of my greatest achievements as a rabble rouser.”
“Indignation of senior citizens is quickly becoming one of our most renewable resources. It’s too bad we can’t monetize it in these hard times”
Asked by someone from Thunder Bay “”What is Flinder’s Place” the Judson’s response was
“A senior’s home, couched between an OPP detachment and a McDonalds, with a scenic view of a Minnesota paper mill.”
The “mostly white people and senior citizens” referenced here are Councillor Judson’s constituents. They deserve respect and acknowledgement of differing views, and not accusations of racism and displays of obvious contempt. Based on the evident contempt and hostility displayed by their councillor, it’s perhaps not hard to imagine why some responders chose to be anonymous.
To be clear here, the Twitter account @dwjudson is a personal, and not official Town of Fort Frances account, but the profile clearly states Douglas W Judson is a town councilor. While these are clearly personal views, Judson *is* a councillor and must be accountable to his constituents for personal statements.
I personally contacted Councillor Judson and suggested he delete these Tweets. He refused (and blocked me, his constituent ).
A councillor must represent *all* of his/her constituents. Those on either side of this issue should be concerned by the lack of respect and level of hostility displayed on the one hand, and by concern on the other hand that a thin-skinned scorched-earth approach might not be the best way to achieve their ultimate objective. I know that when I voted for the councillor, I was not looking for a “rabble rouser” but someone who would take an intelligent and progressive position on the many issues facing this town, and respect and acknowledge the views of all stakeholders. I evidently made a huge mistake.