Rally keyboard warriors

To the Editor,

Joe DiBartolomeo is a highly educated, talented and experienced individual. He apparently has a heart for economic justice, because he was the initiator for the mayor and councilmen raises. I wish he would have been city manager when we struggled for the same justice for the men who collect our trash.

Mr. DiBartolomeo, in his farewall remarks to council, jumping ship after only six months on the job, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve his home town. He reserved his remaining remarks to enlighten those who opposed the council raise, while delivering a parting shot at the critics. When I was broached about the raise, my standard reply was “it amounts to 50 grand a year, they think nothing of blowing that kind of money on a feasibility study to build a convention center that no one is allowed to see!” To be accurate, the convention center feasibility study was $35,000 city tax dollars. The problem was not the raise, it was the hyperbole to sell it, claiming council membership was a 24/7, 265 days a year job.

Mr. DiBartolomeo called the critics “keyboard warriors” — those who are not in the fray but stand back and criticize those who are. It is true, it is easier for a thoughtful and perceptive person to observe another’s actions and often see clearer than those immersed in the mire. That is why marriage counseling is effective for those who seriously want to improve. At times I would be struggling with a repair and a customer would ask me if I would like “more light” thereby flipping on a switch nearby! As an electrician, I felt foolish not thinking to turn on the light. But that is the nature of tunnel vision — being so immersed in what we are doing, we don’t see the forst for the trees.

Francis Bacon is famous for the insight, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” Abraham Lincoln believed, in a democracy, one’s critic was their best friend. JFK, in his speech eulogizing Robert Frost, said “Strength takes many forms, and the most obvious forms are not always the most significant. The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the nation’s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable…”

So yes, Mr. DiBartolomeo, we are keyboard warriors, fighting for a democracy of truth, honesty, transparency, thrift, justice, honor, integrity — the virtues we strive for as individuals and sorely wished prevailed in our culture today.

Blaise Hogan