To the editor:
I understand if Rockport residents are offended by Sandy Jacques' sexist comment and don't want to vote for him. I cringed as well and was very disappointed as there is no justification for this on a board or elsewhere.
Yet, Sandy had voiced his opinion that all Rockport voters should be able to vote on whether the town should purchase or accept as a gift the Tool Company property. Interestingly enough, Sandy has made it clear in the past that he is against the purchase of this property by the town. He was advocating for the rights of Rockport residents to make the decision, not the Board of Selectmen, regarding this important and controversial property, and reportedly upset Sarah Wilkinson who became annoyed and asked him, "Why do you keep bringing this up?" Selectmen had voted 4-1 against letting the voters of Rockport decide.
Now, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Wilhemina Sheedy-Moores, is jumping into the race as a write-in, apparently inspired by the sexist comment. Ms. Sheedy is a real estate lawyer and, as chairwoman of the Zoning Board, led the campaign for her board to support Alan Batistelli's controversial role as the zoning administrator.
In a previous letter to the Gloucester Daily Times, attorney Sheedy-Moores staunchly defended Alan Batistelli, denying his role posed any conflict of interest, and she countered my concerns about the loss of ocean views from our public ways by stating that "there are no provisions in Chapter 40A (the state zoning act) for the preservation of ocean views."
A review of other towns and cities in the state revealed that's not the case, and that concerns many in Rockport as we watch our architectural and historical landscape dramatically change, especially along the ocean.
I voted for Sandy Jacques the first time around because I believes he weighs both sides of the issues and considers residents' concerns, not because I agreed with everything he says. As he has demonstrated with the Tool Company issue, I trust that he will be advocating for all of the women and men of Rockport, not simply for his self-interest or personal gain.
Please consider the greater issues that face Rockport when casting your vote for selectman, and strive for a balance of ideas and fairness on our town boards.
JANE O'MALEY BEAUVAIS
Granite Street, Rockport