Letter: Appalled At Forum Behavior

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To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to Wednesday night’s Juniors Women’s Club of Verona Forum. As a proud Verona resident for over 40 years, I was frankly appalled at the audience’s behavior and reactions throughout the entire course of the forum.

Our sitting Council and candidates work tirelessly to serve our township, and at the very least deserve the respect to speak at a forum without being rudely interrupted or smirked at by the audience.

There were multiple side conversations happening in the audience while people were turning their heads to express their reaction to their neighbor. Other audience members had to resort to “shush” each other to silence the room. The moderators had to ask the audience multiple times throughout the course of the forum to refrain not only from interrupting, but from having their own vocal reactions.

Ironically, our values in Verona were mentioned multiple times in the forum as the audience continued to interrupt the candidates. We talk about diversity, equity and inclusion–yet conduct ourselves with so much judgement and disdain.

In short, the environment was disrespectful and rude towards the Verona Juniors, our Council candidates and our residents.

I was ashamed of how our residents represented and conducted themselves in this public forum. Regardless of who you support as a candidate, they all deserve the basic respect of our residents.

Bob Zoppi
Verona

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