Jennifer Strong: Mieczkowski should step down or face recall

  • John Mieczkowski Sr.

Friday, March 22, 2019

In article published first on March 8, the Gazette reported on racist remarks made by Hadley Planning Board member John Mieczkowski Sr., which were being criticized by other Hadley officials and community members.

This reader is saddened by Mr. Mieczkowski’s March 5th display, which reflects poorly on the town and is not representative of the values of the community. Earlier conduct by Mr. Mieczkowski during a Feb. 19 Planning Board meeting was also concerning. Mr. Mieczkowski used the end of the meeting to verbally attack Select Board member Joyce Chungalo over a personal grievance. He spoke over her, used unprofessional language, commanded the chair of the board not to recognize her, insinuated that his personal grievance would impact his vote, and was uncooperative for scheduling an upcoming meeting with fellow board members.

In both instances, the behaviors displayed were entirely inappropriate. Mr. Mieczkowski is responsible for his conduct and did not act in a professional or acceptable manner. This is a problem which, in this community member’s opinion, should result in his voluntarily stepping down, or a recall.

In addition to the problem Hadley residents face by having an elected official repeatedly display poor conduct, there exists a second problem. In both instances, no one present acted in a way to interrupt this behavior. Instead, the Planning Board members sat by looking mildly uncomfortable or perturbed.

On March 5, some even appeared to chuckle in response. Bystanders who fail to interrupt such behaviors are also accountable. Where Mr. Mieczkowski should no longer serve as a representative of Hadley residents, the Planning Board as a whole should examine its conduct and what behavior it publicly tolerates and supports.

 Jennifer Strong