The following is a letter to the editor sent to Lansdale Patch by Lansdale Borough Councilman Rich DiGregorio in response to his public rebuke by his peers for an interview with Action News 6abc:
To the editor:
We can all agree that Lansdale Borough council’s is controversial. We, as council members, must weigh potential health issues with the liberty of people to engage in certain behaviors.
Regardless of which way you lean on this issue, that gave me pause for concern and that was Councilman Dunigan’s statement that in the future I should check with the administration before speaking to the press.
Councilman Dunigan chastised me for speaking to Walter Perez from Channel 6 Action News regarding the proposed smoking ban in the borough. As an elected official, my primary obligation is to the residents of my ward not to the administration. Councilman Dunigan stated in his criticism of my action that the borough needs to act “more as a business in regard” to public relations.
If we are in the business of squelching dissent, then I guess Mr. Dunigan is right. I happen to believe that politics is a competition of ideas. Let Mr. Dunigan and Council President Matt West give their side, and I will give mine.
For many residents, the press is their only form of information regarding the issues in the borough; many residents do not have time to attend council meetings.
Stifling the free speech of a public official is troubling and channeling all communication through one source risks going down the slippery slope towards an autocratic regime.
Councilman Dunigan and Council President West are brazen enough to suggest that residents should only hear one viewpoint. I disagree. I am here to serve our residents, not the borough administration.
Lansdale Borough Councilman, Ward II
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