WILMINGTON, MA — Jomarie O’Mahony, Daryn Marsh, and Kevin MacDonald are running for the seat on the Wilmington Board of Selectmen recently vacated by Ed Loud. The winner will fulfill the one year remaining on Loud’s unexpired term.
Wilmington Apple is asking the candidates multiple questions each week leading up to the April 27 Town Election.
The latest question:
In September, the Wilmington Memorial Library hosted a month-long series of programs on civility to address a growing lack of civility in today’s society. In his latest newsletter, Town Manager Jeff Hull called for more civility in town when discussing controversial topics. If elected, what will you do to create more civility in Wilmington — online, at meetings, and in the community overall?
Below are the candidates’ responses, in their own words:
A few years ago, around the beginning of the school year, I became very frustrated with the lack of civility I noticed in some of our community pages and those “unofficial” school pages on social media – where people were calling out teachers and school staff by name for various levels of “offenses.” I was horrified that such posts, and the subsequent comments to such posts, were allowed by the page administrators. I had just come up with a silly saying with my oldest daughter (#slapthecookie) to remind each other to make healthy choices and, after googling the phrase and determining there was no nefarious meaning to it, I decided to start posting it as a comment to such negativity to put a pause (or more hopefully, an end) to the thread. To my amazement, the negative rants remained but my comment was deleted. It was then that I realized that these pages are not moderating to their own rules – they took down a harmless comment with no known negative meaning but allowed the personal attacks to continue.
In response, I have tried hard to make sure the We’re One Wilmington Facebook page truly promotes kindness and positivity. I also worked with a committee of WOW members to launch our “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Hearts” campaign to recognize community members who go above and beyond to promote kindness and positivity in our community. You see, civility is not enough. I have spent the last 15 years as a resident of this town trying to promote community spirit and positivity and kindness and will continue to do so whether I am elected to the Board of Selectmen or not.
I work in a highly contentious legal environment with soul destroying stories that could stop any conversation. I know how to be emmeshed in conflict while maintaining professionalism and seeking solutions. I even chose the legal profession, knowing that there is an endless supply of lawyer jokes. But candidly (and more seriously), I have also been a target in the past of the negativity referenced above. My response to that negativity was, is, and will always be, to be the person that I am.
I am Dan and Marie Ardito’s daughter who was blessed to grow up, not just hearing abstractly about the tenets of our Roman Catholic faith, but seeing my parents live out that faith in the real world. I am David O’Mahony’s wife who, when he was deployed to Korea with the United States Army for a year (when we had just had baby number three), learned to broaden my shoulders, keep my head down and not waste time and energy on negativity. Most importantly, I am the mother of Patrick, Meghan, Danny and Josie, who knows with 100 percent certainty that my most important job is to model for my children how to live my life to the best of my ability with the conscious responsibility in helping as many others as I can.
I can say with certainty that there are going to be times when my arguments could get passionate, where my facial expressions may betray my attempts to remain calm and where I may not be in agreement with the majority but I can say with just as much certainty that I will always be respectful of my position, my responsibility to our community and my obligation to represent the community as civilly and professionally as possible.
Mr. Marsh chose to answer this question via video:
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