To the Editor: Checks and balances 

To the Editor:

I was profoundly disappointed to hear Town Council member Friedmann, at the Jan. 4 council meeting, speak out and vote against Erica Brooks’ appointment to a town committee because she was “suing the town.” He inquired as to whether the town had a policy of not appointing anyone to a committee if they were “suing the town.”   

The town does not have such a written policy as it would clearly violate the Constitution that Councilor Friedmann took a solemn oath to uphold. A government cannot punish one of its citizens because she has exercised her First Amendment right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  

The courts serve a check and balance function against the other two branches of government, making sure they act lawfully. Beginning with Bracale v. Bar Harbor, I count five Superior Court decisions holding that the town had not complied with the law. Councilor Friedmann, in trying to punish those who have the courage to ensure that the Town Council only acts lawfully, is like the speeding motorist who blames the police officer who summonsed him and never once considers his illegal conduct.  

Councilor Friedmann should read the court decisions finding that the council had broken the law and then engage in serious self-reflection. 

Arthur Greif 

Bar Harbor 

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