Letter: Caitlin Keefe, Lovettsville

Editor: As a town resident, I am disappointed at the actions taken by certain members of the Lovettsville Town Council in their efforts to promote personal agendas over the good of the town by proposing a controversial and polarizing proclamation in support of the 2nd Amendment. 

As a responsible gun owner and patriotic American, I am disheartened that council members have worked with someone (who had publicly admitted to seeing drafts of the proclamation before even all council members had seen a copy or the public) that is using this as a catalyst for basically a gun rally on town property and condoned by the Town Council. This same individual who has made numerous and inflammatory public videos and social media posts against anyone disagreeing with his stances on town issues.

Three Town Councilmen (Steadman, Smith, and Hornbaker) and the mayor, knew about this proclamation days before it was introduced at the last council meeting. Not only was the mayor involved in reviewing and making suggestions regarding editing of said proclamation, there was a deliberate and purposeful choice by councilmen to keep the draft from being included with the agenda documents, which would have provided copies to the three Town Council members who were purposefully not included. This is a blatant lack of respect to fellow council members and to the town as a whole.

I am also compiling a list of all proclamations in the past four years to clear up statements made publicly by the mayor implying this kind of proclamation is not uncommon or unusual for the town.

I am dismayed that our town is being used for personal agendas instead of working together on more important and critical town projects and concerns. This kind of behavior on part of some of our Town Council members is why I stepped away from a more involved volunteer position with the town. Basically, the intent of this proclamation is tainted by the actions of certain council members and its original purposes for this proclamation have made any further consideration unacceptable and I implore the council to table this permanently for the good of all the town residents, town businesses, town visitors, volunteers, and neighboring communities.

The feeling of safety in our town and the feeling of community is being lessened by these kinds of theatrics. Hopefully, even more transparency in the creation and intent of actions such as these by certain council members, will help keep our town the festival destination and welcoming place to live that only LOVEttsville should always be.

Caitlin Keefe, Lovettsville

11 thoughts on “Letter: Caitlin Keefe, Lovettsville

  • 2020-02-11 at 4:20 pm
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    What Caitlin Keefe failed to recognize and tell is the entire council had a chance to review and offer suggestions on that original proposal introduced 2 weeks previous to the vote. In fact, Mr. Schilling, a more liberal member of the council, opted to provide quite a number of positive suggestions in changes, so much so that he was considered one of the main authors. Likewise, Mr. Dunlap, a liberal 2A supporter, had a chance to review it but failed to respond when asked to do so repeatedly those two weeks. Instead, Mr Dunlap elected to present his own version last Thursday evening WITHOUT offering any chance for the other council members to read and review ahead of time. That presentation was disingenuous, weak, and eventually fully rejected by everyone there.

    The final vote was 4-1-1. Mr. Schilling was not going to vote a Yes, but changed his mind based on what he heard that evening. Mr. Dunlap, supportive of 2A, abstained. Only ONE council member rejected fully the proclamation because he thought the council should only be working as bean counters.

    • 2020-02-12 at 7:25 am
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      Much of what Ms Keefe pointed out is correct. As a conservative, who rarely sees eye to eye with Ms. Keefe, she is completely right on allowing the town’s cartoonish, right wing gun nut to pull the council’s strings on any partisan issue. Allowing him to be the face of any issue in the town that starts with Love, is a farce. The town’s last election produced 3 partisan zealot s to a council that has eshewed partisanship as far back as anyone can remember. The previous three mayors, all Republican, didn’t tolerate this kind of nastiness. I hope a lesson was learned about how routine, non binding, posturing and pandering does more harm than good. It is fair to say that five of six councilman know that the second amendment isn’t about restricting guns, it’s about restricting government. But that fact is list in a circus of a process.

  • 2020-02-11 at 4:31 pm
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    For even more transparency, all the statements I made were backed up by a FOIA request I did to the town. I suggest you do a FOIA about the proclamation and get the only 2 emails regarding it as well.

  • 2020-02-11 at 4:36 pm
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    The FOIA I did was in regards to the creation of the original draft(s).

  • 2020-02-11 at 7:40 pm
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    Two emails does not a conspiracy make. Your point is irrelevant given Mr. Steadman introduced his entire original draft during the 1/23 council meeting to the entire council for their listening and further review. That introduction was his right to do. In that 1/23 session, when it came up, the mayor voiced his concern it would eat time and energy as they would have to work through the presented draft. Mr. Hornbaker made point that it was an intro only for the following session on 2/6, and the sketch draft was quickly introduced and read by Mr. Steadman. It was also on the agenda before hand. There were no surprises or work done on 1/23.

    Thereafter, the entire council had a copy FOR TWO WEEKS prior to the 2/6 open session to consider, revise, edit, or reject it before that 2/6 open session, debate and vote. TWO WEEKS. ONE of the people who you mention not getting it (which they did) helped bring it forward. One refused and the other wrote his own version without consultation from ANY of the other members. Why did Mr. Dunlap not allow the rest of the council time to review his substitute? Why did he not respond to phone calls for his input?

    Again, many of us in the town support the proclamation and are glad it was introduced and passed. I know plenty of people from town who could not show up that night, or did not show up because the lot was full and it was raining.

    The individual of note you mentioned with the videos didn’t even stay for the entire evening, so in some ways he was a joke. If you are implying he sent an email to a council member before 1/23, he certainly has a right to voice his interest. I even considered asking the council to do the same.

    Most of the people who showed up that evening were less colorful in their demeanor and attitude than Mr. Videoman. I was surprised to find very few stereotypical gun owners, and a good mix of people with different backgrounds and education. Most were hardworking, level headed family folks with real concerns for their rights and safety.

    There were also 3 police officers on duty, 2 I met were off duty, and one retired LEO.

    The council, in my opinion, met the call. My only disappointment is that Mr. Dunlap could have made a difference if he had been more active in the review. I believe he also would have vote YES that evening if he worked with others on the original draft to get his concerns in. Instead, he played games, or was distracted because of personal issues over those two weeks, and abstained.

    • 2020-02-11 at 8:23 pm
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      Wow. Is it normal to have three police officers at a town council meeting? Were they there to ensure everyone who showed up armed was a so-called “good guy?”

  • 2020-02-12 at 5:56 am
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    “to ensure everyone who showed up armed was a so-called “good guy?”

    No. But you can speculate anything.

    Normally, there are between 0-5 members of the public watching session. And one officer from the sheriff’s dept who gives a community report to the council. In some cases, he/she shows up for other issues and sessions.

    Thursday we had between what I estimate 110-120 members of the public. The interior was packed with 75+ people, some sitting on the floor. I got there early but decided to stay outside for air and my health it was so bad. I heard this was the biggest crowd in their history. So one Sheriff LEO stood outside to manage crowd, and another one inside. The other officer was regular.

    Unlike the false narrative, I saw very few people open carrying. And I never saw anyone with a rifle despite the numbers Mr. Videoman is now exaggerating. The majority did not stick around to the end which struck me as amusing.

    I was more concerned about an Antifa situation happening than about any of the nice people there. So, I’m glad the officers gave presense. Nice guys as well.

  • 2020-02-12 at 9:21 am
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    Ever notice how prickly the gun nuttery crowd gets when you criticize them?

    They like to try to normalize their fetish by talking patriotism..even as they disfigure the American flag with black stripes to say some Americans are more important than others. I for one am really getting tired of their act.

  • 2020-02-13 at 5:55 pm
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    ckeefe812

    Once again, your backstory is irrelevant and doesn’t pass the smell test. The proclamation draft was presented and made public to the town and the rest of the council on 1/23. That copy is available online. It could have been written by a hundred invisible devils for all anyone cares. It was made available for a REVIEW, NOT a vote.

    Everyone on the council had TWO weeks after this date to review, make suggestions, edits, or reject it.

    The proclamation passed it 4-1-1 on 2/6

    FOUR, not your 3, voted YES.

    ONE rejected. Only ONE.

    ONE abstained. An abstain is not a YES or a NO.

    Hence only ONE council member rejected the proclamation out of FIVE.

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