Editor: The report by Patrick Szabo on 11/24 was an incredibly accurate view inside the Lovettsville Town council and the severe right-wing swerve it has taken since the departure of Mayor Zoldos in 2018.
Your reporter was able to connect the dots that show the decline in high level of integrity and the moral high road established by previous leader-servants in this small town.
Mayor Fontaine’s quote that somehow the rancor of the presidential election merely trickled down to the town and inflamed passions is patently wrong. That is not what has happened. This cancer has been festering on our body politic for years.
The division, hatred and character assassination started with the 2018 election of what became known as the Hate Slate. A slate of candidates running on a partisan platform of purging liberals/progressive/democrats from town government and the creation of an alt-right “paradise.”
That formula, bolstered by an influx of out of town money and influence from the Virginia Constitutional Conservative and a fanatical gun store owner, successfully repeated in 2020. The result is that only right-wing zealots are welcome in Lovettsville town government, its commissions, committees, or the community at large. Elections have consequences?
One former town official confided in few weeks ago that he was glad the late Mayor Elaine Walker did not have to see what had happened to the town she loved so much. She and Mayor Zoldos never accepted partisan wrangling in Town Hall.
The town councils, commissions and committees before 2018 were composed of Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Gays and Straight, Moderates and Extremists. And those things never mattered on the dais.
Those volunteers had one thing in common, they could leave partisanship, hatred, and rancor at the door. They worked together and the town was better for it. I saw it in my Planning Commission, Mayfest Committee and Love Winter Committee and others I helped out with. Working in town event committees was fun and friendships forged. That sought-after camaraderie is now dissipating at an alarming rate.
The town is hemorrhaging long-time volunteers from its commissions and committees. People of character and integrity unwilling to toil in the service of hateful leaders. Who will step forward to lead the charge to put the love back in Lovettsville?
Frank McDonough, Lovettsville
Former Lovettsville Planning Commission Chairman