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Letter to the editor for Sept. 10

Group showing patriotism by gathering signatures

Damascus City Councilor Mary Westcott read a statement Thursday evening, Sept. 1, at the Damascus City Council work session and started with 'How dare you!' - referring to members of Ask Damascus getting signatures for a citizen initiative on Patriots Day.

After the meeting I told her, 'I just wanted you to know that we are very patriotic Americans.' She proceeded to yell, 'you should be in Boring celebrating Patriots Day, not getting signatures.'

Ask Damascus chose to celebrate Patriots Day using our constitutional rights to gather signatures so the people can vote. We don't just talk freedom, we act on it.

'We the People' will not be dictated to by religious fervor coming from someone who hates our freedom to bring decisions before the people.

Why is the council so committed to Metro's plan when the people voted it down?

Randy Shannon and Diana Helm don't understand the results of the recent survey. It seems Damascus residents value property rights first, then environment. To the council, it seems to be a conflict. Randy Shannon commented Thursday evening, 'How can we have environmental protection and property rights?'

We as property owners feel a sense of responsibility to keep our land clean and natural. That's one reason why we don't want 'intense dwelling' that would spoil the landscape. We do not need to be policed.

Yes, I was offended that our patriotism was questioned. How can our elected officials justify judging citizens in Damascus to be unpatriotic? Someone who is judging patriotism should not be trying to restrict our freedom to vote.

Debra Phegley

Damascus