Open Forum: ‘No cheap shots’

Posted: October 15, 2012

To say that I’m extremely disturbed over the closing paragraphs in “Ex-Mayor Brown starts own website for Middletown“ (Oct. 12, Page B8) is an understatement.

In a rambling 28-minute phone conversation covering multiple topics with the reporter, there was obviously a breakdown in communications. I did not say that I would be “posting damaging background information on all Middletown candidates.” In fact, I emphatically said the opposite, that I wouldn’t because “cheap shots hurt the credibility of the site.” If you’re looking for dirt, middletownva.net is not where you’ll find it.

In an April 9 public statement to the Middletown Town Council when I announced the upcoming establishment of middletownva.net, I was very clear on what the site would contain: “Rather than dwell on negative criticisms, the website will offer detailed research and positive recommendations for solving community problems. The website will also include the draft 2012-2032 Comprehensive Plan as a constant reminder to our elected officials of what can and should be done.”

While the site will not dwell on negative criticism, you can depend on it being plainspoken where needed.

What is included on the site is my letter of resignation as mayor, as many people in Middletown have no idea why I resigned. Although it was read into the official record on March 3, it does not appear in the approved minutes of the meeting (middletownva.gov) and was purposely deleted from the town newsletter.

What I did say during the interview is that:

 An election is not a popularity contest.

 A vote should never be cast only because you happen to recognize the name on the ballot.

 Voters need to vet the candidates’ backgrounds to include checking online county websites (criminal and civil court dockets, delinquent taxes, etc.).

 Do not waste your vote by writing in “Mickey Mouse” etc., in protest .

 The option of writing in a candidate is always there (check with the individual first to ensure they’ll accept the position if elected).

See you at the polls.

Marshall “Mark” Brown is a resident of Middletown.