The Cemetery Commission is a focused, specialized group of committed volunteers who have been working for almost 8 years to reverse decades worth of neglect in these “outdoor museums,” which are a critical link to our past, from a genealogical, military and industrial point of view. Most of this work has been accomplished with private donations and grants, as well as some wonderful Eagle Scout projects, collaboration with other community groups, and no taxpayer dollars expended - all of which garnered the Commission a national award.
From a volunteer standpoint, I think the action of the Mayor and Council in removing me from this Cemetery Commission sends a chilling message to those who may consider stepping forward to serve, only to know that they may be removed, not for cause, but for petty political reasons.
I am saddened that the Cemetery Commission, which is comprised of both Republicans and Democrats, has worked so closely to accomplish our goals and done such spectacular work, has been dragged into this. If asked, I will assist the newest and the current members of the commission with their tasks, including grant writing, because political pettiness will only imperil our historical treasures.
This is what happens when elected officials play politics instead of acting as statesmen. And, it speaks volumes for the small-minded approach members of this Administration has taken over the last 6 years.
When the epitaph for the Ward Administration is written, the words “professional government for the betterment of Bristol” is definitely not going to be what is etched in stone.