Board of Health is not protecting public health
WHOOH — The boys on the [Fairhaven] Board Of Health have been very busy over the past few months. They’ve been toiling not to protect the public health mind you, but to cover their own asses. OOPS, sorry Geoff I know that’s NOT a “professional” way to describe your efforts…but it IS true. Dear reader, if you’ve not time to read the dozens of issues of the Neighb News going back to April at least read the October 1st one which contains the two stories I’ll be referring to. https://fairhavenneighborhoodnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/10-01-20-Pirates.pdf
On August 29th: Peter DeTerra, the Chairman of what is supposed to be OUR BOH, hosted a gathering of 150+ people at his farm during the time when Governor Charlie Baker ordered that a maximum of 25 people could be gathered in an indoor space, and no more than 50 in an outdoor space. The Chairman defied the Governor’s order so he could give his daughter the wedding of her dreams. Sweet.
Then on September 28th DeTerra’s BOH, as Editor Beth David wrote, “fired the health agent on claims and charges that seemed not only petty, but unfounded.” Not so sweet.
Having read all of that and then tuning into the Shit-Show (again, sorry Geoff) to witness the BOH in action, I decided that for me enough was enough. I could no longer be a good little girl, sit on my hands and allow the boys to go unchallenged after they’d dismantled our Town’s dedicated, educated, experienced and (yes Geoff) professional three-person Health Department and replaced them with a new college graduate who had zero experience in public health to act as Interim Health Agent, IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC!!!
By October of this year, I had gone 18 months without visiting my 80-year-old parents who live in Florida. Here in Fairhaven, grandparents had not been able to hold their new grand-babies, dozens of couples had to postpone or change their wedding plans, residents in nursing homes could visit with their loved ones only through windows or Zoom, new fathers could not attend ultra-sounds to hear their baby’s heartbeats, young adults had no traditional proms or graduations, businesses were closed causing widespread financial hardships, students have lost time in the classroom and are suffering academically despite the best efforts of our school department…I could go on but we all know the burdens we’ve all suffered during this COVID Pandemic. But hey, good news, there was one lucky couple who experienced a magical day.
I organized a protest at Town Hall that took place during the November 16th BOH meeting. You can read about it in the 11/9 issue of the Neighb News. https://fairhavenneighborhoodnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/11-19-20-MannySylviaTribute.pdf and the Standard Times article of the same date https://www.southcoasttoday.com/story/news/2020/11/19/protesters-call-recall-fairhaven-board-health-members/6333142002/
While the peaceful, COVID compliant assembly of a dozen protesters chanted and marched outside of Town Hall I entered the meeting room to hand deliver a demand for a Public Hearing where the BOH would have to answer to their constituents.
I entered saying, “Excuse me, I’ve got a mask on and am socially distanced, I just want to deliver…..”
At that point Mr. Haworth rushed up to me and stood just three inches from my face repeatedly demanding that I leave the room, while attempting to physically block me from putting the documents on the table. He failed because I was able to pivot around him and put the documents on the table. I did not storm into the room as was stated in the ST article.
The following from that article is false: “By storming in ‘Ms. Hahn failed to act civilized when she pushed past me in that manner’ Haworth said and added that the protestors themselves were violating COVID-19 rules and regulations.”
AND, if that weren’t enough there’s also this statement in that article: “Through attorney John Markey Jr., DeTerra stated: ‘The fact that five or 10 people, at least one of whom was visibly intoxicated…”.
The Chairman’s thinly veiled innuendo accusing me of being visibly intoxicated was not backed up by any of the half dozen police officers who had been summoned to the protest. But you see, men who are threatened by the opinions and actions of a strong woman usually respond with character assassination. In the minds of the boys on the BOH a woman who is actively expressing her opinion of their bad behavior OBVIOUSLY MUST BE DRUNK! RIGHT?
Myself and a few other protesters were at the Town Hall during the most recent BOH meeting. Prior to the start of the meeting, I entered the building where I was met by a police officer who informed me that I could deliver to the BOH office the letters I carried demanding time on the next meeting’s agenda to discuss having a Public Hearing, but I could not be in the building after 4:30.
I had anticipated this because I had spoken with Fairhaven Police Chief Mike Myers both the day before and the day of the meeting. The Chairman was notably absent from the meeting to interview candidates and hire the replacement for the Health Inspector who HIS Board had ousted last summer.
After much excruciating hemming and hawing, the two boys who were in attendance hired a man who had held the position in the past. At the point of the meeting agenda when the boys would set the date and time for their next Shit-Show I raised my virtual, Zoom hand so I could confirm that they had read my letter prior to the meeting.[Chairperson Mike] Ristuccia, sitting in for the Chair, ignored it and proceeded with member [Goeff] Haworth’s motion for the next date. I interrupted and asked to be heard but of course he had me cut off. Then during the very last second of the meeting Ristuccia was heard calling me a JERK so I assume they read the letter. C’mon boys, even a girl knows that if your gonna pick a fight you’d better have the balls to show up for it. By the time you read this your next opportunity will have been Wednesday December 16th at 5pm. Let’s see if I’m on the agenda.
Diane Hahn, Fairhaven
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