I attended the June 17 Chesterfield City Council meeting to speak of the many contributions former council member Barry Flaschbart made to Chesterfield during his long tenure. I was also delighted to congratulate Mary Monachella, a seat-mate of mine on the Planning Commission, on her appointment to the city council from Ward 1. Her thorough preparation and consistent attention to our work was admired by all who served with her on the planning commission.
Therefore, I was stunned to see obvious hostility toward her appointment by some members of the council. The intimidating tone of the conversation was abrasive to the audience and beneath the dignity of the city council. I didn’t understand why.
Later, I read in West Newsmagazine about a troubling conversation. Apparently, Jane Cunningham, a former resident who now lives in Austin, Texas, had called Mary. She urged her not to accept the nomination, implying strongly what Mary characterized as a “political threat.” This troubles me greatly. Jane has involved herself in city politics in the past, but in our democracy doesn’t everyone have the right to run and serve without harassment or intimidation? Isn’t that how so-called “banana republics” behave? I certainly don’t want that in Chesterfield!
I believe that the good residents of Chesterfield are quite capable of making thoughtful, independent decisions, devoid of political pressure tactics and dark money designs. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the Better Together fiasco, it’s that local people should be in charge of their local government.