From Where I Sit: Email Eruption

This could be a challenging year for incumbents running for office whether at the local, state or national level.

Folks are unhappy about a lot of things and blame is going to those sitting in office. In some cases, they are looked upon as being ineffective in making things happen. Or happen quickly enough to appease frustrated voters coming from a myriad of viewpoints.

November’s ballot in Culpeper is going to be very interesting with four candidates now vying for the Jefferson School Board seat.

Three county supervisors have terms that end December 31. Speaking of the Jefferson District, longtime incumbent Brad Rosenberger is being challenged by Chuck Duncan. And, Larry Aylor, in the Cedar Mountain District is being opposed by Jack Frazier. Bill Chase in Stevensburg remains unopposed.

Hopefully the weeks leading up to the election will have local papers filled with letters of support for their favorite candidate and the reasons why or why not that person should remain in office or be replaced by a new face.

Commonwealth Attorney Megan Frederick has voiced her support for Rosenberger and Aylor but in a way that may have backfired on her.

Frederick is a tough lady and she stands up for what she believes and she is loyal to her supporters. Her upset win last November to launch her to the top prosecutor spot in the county left many dazed, confused and stunned that this could have happened. Others rejoiced that a new face would re-energize that office.

Frederick sent out an email last week that went viral. It reached the eyes and attention of many in the county, beyond to whom it was originally sent, who found her remarks unprofessional, inappropriate and not befitting a commonwealth attorney.

Think about it. You send an email to a group of your friends, or folks you call friends, and it blows up on you. It’s one of the unintended consequences of today’s technology.

Having said that, Frederick is an elected official and an attorney. I’ve never known an attorney that puts anything in an email much more than ‘hello.’

It can cause you grief. And, in her case, it has.

While rallying behind her two favorites on the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors, Rosenberger and Aylor, she then takes aim at the others sitting on the board.

As she writes in her email, “There are many members of the Board of Supervisors who have tried to bully me with their rude behaviors and unjust voting.”

She is referring to the board’s fairly recent approval (not unanimous) to build a separate building for the Sheriff’s Office.

Rosenberger and Aylor voted against that motion (and I don’t believe it was because, like Frederick, they don’t like the sheriff…their reasoning was solely fiscal in nature.)

I don’t know of anyone in the county who isn’t aware that Frederick does not like or respect Sheriff Scott Jenkins. The two have been at odds personally and professionally since the start. We won’t go there.

But now, Frederick’s comments get a bit dicey.

“They lost this battle, due to incompetent and corrupt members of the Board.”

Incompetent and corrupt.

Those are fighting words in my opinion. Incompetent, let’s see. Chairman Sue Hansohn, Vice Chairman Steve Walker, Steve Nixon, Alexa Fritz and Bill Chase. Are they unskillful, inept, unprofessional, blundering, clumsy, inadequate, wanting, mentally deficient or not legally qualified to hold office? I have never seen them to be this way. Their decisions may not please everyone all of the time but my observation is that their decisions are not made lightly or without serious thought and good intention.

And corrupt? What of this adjective to describe the county’s policy makers?

To most, ‘corrupt’ either means that your computer has been attacked by a virus or, more commonly, that some criminal act has taken place, i.e. political corruption.

Corrupt implies bribery, embezzlement, dishonesty, unprincipled behavior, amoral, untrustworthy, double-dealing, fradulent, nefarious, underhanded, unethical, unscrupulous or acting in a capacity for personal gain.

Words are powerful weapons. Particularly if you are an elected official, you may elect to be prudent in what you say.

Frederick, in her email, remains confident. “I will not back down from what is right and no amount of bullying by others will sway me.”

Question is, who is doing the bullying?