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Letter to Editor: Councilman responds to Carnacchio's column

August 21, 2013 - So much of CJ Carnacchio's August 19 editorial relates to me personally, that I must respond to his assertions about me.

First, in spite of CJ's advance prediction, I am not the president of the Village Council, or of the Village of Oxford, nor will I be until appointed by the Council. If and when that happens, then perhaps I will respond more fully to CJ's statements about the Village in general.

I personally resent CJ's use of "a can of village-begone" in a headline. He is obviously referring to Bug B-Gone", an Ortho trade mark for a poisonous substance in a spray can. Some readers of the Oxford Leader may find it amusing, but I don't like CJ's image of that kind of solution for the Village of Oxford. I am not a bug, nor am I a Jew in Hitler's Germany.

I do agree with some of what CJ has written. I agree that CJ does not enjoy Village Council meetings, and I feel sorry for him. Also, he is right when he says "One must attend a meeting or watch one on OCTV..." I agree. I would never recommend that a person should read the Leader's coverage of council meetings. So CJ has got that right, anyway.

CJ speaks of "listening to his (Dave's) befuddling stream of consciousness". Believe me, when I speak out during council meetings, the last thing on my mind is whether CJ will get befuddled trying to understand what I am saying. That's CJ's problem not mine. I do think "befuddling" is a very poor choice of words. The dictionary says befuddled has a strong connotation of drunkenness. I am certainly not accusing CJ of being drunk at council meetings. And as for myself, in all my 69 years, I have never once been drunk, either on alcohol or on any illegal drug. I have never been befuddled.

I'm surprised that CJ has used the word "scary". CJ has nothing to fear from me. If he's referring to my military background, I can tell him that I served my country for 6 years in the United States Marine Corps, and was honorably discharged from the reserves with the rank of sergeant. Not scary, just dedicated. If he's referring to my education, I can tell him that my college degree is in Engineering and Applied Science, from an Ivy League university. Not scary, just thoughtful. If he's referring to my job, I can tell him that I work in the automotive industry as an engineer and quality person. Not scary, just careful. If he's worried about me becoming a different kind of president, I can tell him that every council president I have seen in 22 years has been different from his/her predecessor. Not scary, just different.

During my service in the Marines, I certainly heard all sorts of rough language, but I personally was taken aback by CJ's scatological references. Can't he write for a family newspaper without saying "chamber pot" and "raw sewage"? Twice in one column seems a bit much.

Referring to the County and the Township of Oxford, CJ says "those who aren't apathetic about the village are prejudiced". That's a bum rap, for me at least. Prejudice means judging a person or a thing in advance, without evidence. I made a judgment against the Charter Township of Oxford many years ago, based on what I ran into when I was considering a run for township office. More recently, I made a judgment against County Dispatch, based on what I observed while monitoring their dispatch operations. Neither decision is prejudice, since both are evidence-based. Up to the present I have seen no new evidence that would change my mind about either organization.

Concerning my hypothetical role in a hypothetical "recall" of council member Helmuth: A recall petition is supposed to come from the grass roots; from the voters. If one council member tried to recall another council member, it would just look like an internal argument between two insiders. I refuse to do that. Let the voters act, if they so choose.

And the voters do act, and they do vote, apathy or no apathy. Last time I ran for council, I received more votes than the sitting president.

Dave Bailey

Village of Oxford

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