Letter: Mike Dunlap, Lovettsville

Editor: Mayor Fontaine may have thought he was politically sly earlier this year when he joined other candidates in failing to condemn the behavior and rhetoric of those near our town who seek to inject their extremism into our community. 

The mayor continued by hiding behind vague interpretations of court cases to avoid uniformly enforcing sign ordinances. He then doubled down, apparently allowing extremists to violate sign ordinances while ensuring some with political views in contrast to his own followed the rules. This is a double standard, and another clear case of using his position of power to further a political agenda—possibly in violation of the Hatch Act.

The mayor then continued this trend, dragging in one of our planning commissioners for a browbeating after she made an online post denigrating alt-right groups, and specifically Nazis.

A sharp departure from his predecessor who vowed to oppose Nazi’s in our midst, up to and including in court, Mayor Fontaine has thrown down the welcome mat for extreme hate groups in Lovettsville. In case you might be tempted to dismiss this as a one-off lapse in judgment, he stayed silent on the dais while the council reappointed a committee member previously removed for associating racist remarks with his official position. Lest one believe the cases of Consaul and Scott Spangler are identical, remember the first was anti-racist while the latter’s comments were plain racist.

The mayor failed to correct the council who stated we must play together or risk losing volunteers to run our town events, even if those volunteers are unapologetically racist and without qualms about associating their racism with our town.

Through all of this the mayor has skirted the core issue, turning a blind eye to the extremism taking over in front of him and in full view of our community.

Mayor Fontaine just might be blissfully ignorant, blind to the role he is playing in this tragedy. However to play that card, he would have to admit to an incurable failure in leadership and basic situational awareness.

Another explanation is that Mayor Fontaine agrees with, and is in league with, the extremists who are waging their culture war in the midst of our town. His silence is deafening.

We do not need the mayor to give another long, mealy-mouthed homily which seeks to avoid complete and total condemnation for extremists, and especially those extremists who also happen to be his political supporters. We need a mayor who will speak plainly, loudly and for those who are targeted by bullies and extremists- no matter where perpetrators might fall on the political spectrum. Characterizing extremists’ actions as merely “unprofessional, unneighborly, and in extreme poor taste” falls far short.

If the mayor takes action or believes the council has erred, we deserve a public explanation. Otherwise we are left with the sole option that he is also a bigoted extremist. It is up to him to change our community’s perception without delay.

Mike Dunlap, Lovettsville

5 thoughts on “Letter: Mike Dunlap, Lovettsville

  • 2020-11-23 at 10:00 am
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    Sadly, this is the state of affairs for the Lovettsville Town Council–which was once a non-partisan entity that welcomed everyone and respected the opinions of all. I wish them well in their future efforts of recruiting volunteers for town events.

  • 2020-11-23 at 9:23 pm
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    Smells like juvenile name-calling all grown-up. Independent observer here, but a few facts come to light with a quick google search that would make any discerning person read this letter with skepticism on its intent and portrayal of the facts:
    (1) Mike Dunlap has a history on the town council during the Mayor’s term and a history of letters to the editor attacking the mayor.
    (2) He uses the terms “extremist” and “extremism” no less than 10 times (I think I counted right) yet does not describe the specifics in any of these cases.
    (3) The mayor on several occasions has publicly denounced the behavior the author is attempting to associate the mayor with.
    (3) A Brian Stearns wrote a much more long-winded version published on the exact same day. His version describes the events Mike Dunlap refers to in more detail making it clear that the event that the mayor took a more active role in was a vulgar use of a town logo vice reprehensible comments made by a person who volunteers with the town in a context disassociated with the town.
    (4) Mike Dunlap’s background in policy means he knows the Hatch Act does not apply to town Mayors yet he decided to accuse the mayor of violating it anyway.
    (5) He argument is that the Mayor is a “bigoted extremist”. This is obviously a very serious charge.
    Based on the facts I can find and the facts I know, I cannot find evidence of Dunlap’s claim that the mayor of Lovettsville is a “bigoted extremist” (I see some to the contrary as I google Nate Fontaine). I can only determine that Mike Dunlap really really really doesn’t like Mayor Fontaine, so he’s decided to call him the worst thing that he could think to call him, as we all did as children when we we really didn’t like someone.

  • 2020-11-24 at 4:44 pm
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    Love20180 sums it up nicely.

    Mike Dunlop is a model textbook for studying fallacies and rhetorical devices in lieu of any real strong facts or strong assumptions. It seems to be Mike D likes to either hear himself pontificate and act a poseur statesman rather than be one. During his tenure as a representative for more balance in the Town Council, he failed to register one good idea or premise that took measure, and spent most of his time dancing and blocking any real progress in those sessions. Instead, his focus was to drag them on and on pretending he was in a US House Committee, and following the standards of Roberts Rules. He had a platform and he failed.

    The recent election might be taken as evidence of his lack of credibility in that history. Remember, he was elected to the town council at one time, yet he failed to get re-elected three times this last election when he was beaten out by three other candidates who each took a seat on the Town Council, filling vacancies. Considering he was already on the town council, you would think he would have support to continue. This did not happen and he lost to two freshman members and one council member. His failure should be a point of concern for those wanting a balanced town government, since he failed to carry forward the liberal representation.

    I’m in agreement that there should be some counter balance on Lovettsvilles Government, but Mike D and his diatribe false narratives and opinions is not that voice.

  • 2020-11-25 at 11:13 pm
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    Wow. What a loser!!

    Dunlap is the politically motivated extremist. Extremely irrelevant, and a loser. We’re lucky to have Mayor Fontaine, and I’m so glad we got rid of the toxic Dunlap. He’s the real embarrassment to the town.

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