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English Needs A History Lesson



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English Needs A History Lesson

To the Editor:

A member of the P&Z and Democratic Town Committee has had three consecutive letters to The Bee in the past month railing against political signs. IPN signs in particular.

Richard English erroneously stated in his letter of 11/12/09 [Letter Hive, “It Ain’t Pretty”] that, political signs were placed on public school properties. Preposterous. Permission was granted from the private property owner for the area under contract for sale near NHS. The same letter describes posting lawn signs as “blatant disregard for the community and a lack of common decency.”

English’s earlier letter on 11/5/09 [Letter Hive, “Lawn Sign Pollution”] claims IPN signs “ignored any existing formal/informal policies re: lawn signs to promote a political party agenda or politician.” Apparently, the heinous murals covering Amaral Motors or the plastering of placards over the vacant Trudeau building were acceptable. Finally, his letter on 11/19 [Letter Hive, “Welcome To The Era Of Obnoxious Sign Pollution”] denotes IPN signs as “obnoxious, annoying…..a win-at-all-costs strategy.”

Flash back to October 2008 and the same Richard English wrote the following to The Bee: “What Gentleman’s Agreement?”

“In a letter to The Bee, published on October 17, 2008, Robert H. Hall indicated that Obama-Biden supporters have broken the unwritten gentleman’s agreement regarding political lawn signs in Newtown. What? There is an unwritten agreement? Are the people aware of this unwritten agreement? There have never been political lawn signs in Newtown? Wait a minute I think I first noticed those signs last fall (2007) when supporters of the IPN placed them strategically around Newtown. Yeah, I drove past them in my section of the Borough daily! It seemed OK last year! I do not recall any mention of a gentleman’s agreement last year. Many people in town noticed the lawn signs last fall. Therefore, perhaps Mr Hall should thank the IPN and not the Obama-Biden supporters for satisfying his self-described ‘perversion’ at being ‘pleased’ that this alleged ban was broken.

“Mr Hall misses the point regarding lawn signs. What is clear is that the people are eager to embrace the change needed in Washington, D.C., and Newtown is not immune to understanding the need for real, meaningful, and significant change. Perhaps the signs on lawns Mr Hall should be more concerned about are the House for Sale signs which have taken over the Newtown landscape. Those Obama-Biden signs in Newtown were most likely put up by individuals wanting change and transparency in government, and not as a concerted effort by a political party.

“By the way, the term gentleman’s agreement has outlived its usefulness and invokes images of smoke-filled-back-room-politics involving only the good-old-boys. I am, however, certain the aforementioned images were not Mr Hall’s intentions when he invoked the gentleman’s agreement term but it does imply politics as usual, regardless of gender.”

Well said, and, at last an admission! So, while Mr English gets an “A” for effort in civics, he need only read his own writings to raise his failing history grade and learn from his own mistake.


Robert Hennessey

21 Sleepy Hollow Road, Sandy Hook                    December 1, 2009

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