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To the Editor:
I’m not into censorship. I’m not into silencing.  I am, however, well aware of factors and guidelines set forth by media publications regarding the length of a letter or space  availability etc. But, if all things are equal and all guidelines are met, then I believe the opinion of the writer should be printed.  I do not believe it is the job of a news publication to deny the printing of a letter because they don’t like the content or don’t agree with the content or can’t handle the opinion on a personal level.

I have lived at Lake Mohawk for 43 years. I see a huge change out here.  I attribute much of it to the leadership. I do not like having to express my concerns in the forum of which I am using right now.  I tried expressing my concerns in the Lake Mohawk Newsletter, but the Board has turned down my request to print my letter.... twice. As of this writing, I have made my third request.

My original issue was the board’s request to be indemnified should they find themselves in a legal situation due to their decision-making powers. Bottom line, should they screw up, they do not wish to be held personally liable. They do not wish to put their property at risk.  They would rather have the Association indemnify them.  Hold them harmless. Problem is we members ARE the association. So I said to myself, “Self, why would I risk my property if they don’t want to risk theirs?” So I sent an email to the Board stating my opinion and position using their own proposition language followed up with my own expressions and asked them to put my opinion in the Mohawk newsletter which, by the way, is paid for with our dues.

But I need to set that issue aside and tackle the real problem.  Their main requirement is that I meet with them first. Why? I’ll bet my last snicker bar they don’t have that requirement for any one else. The next requirement is I need to be factual. I use legal reference plus their own proposition language. The next requirement is I be on issue. The issue is the Indemnification Proposal and I beat that issue to death in my letter. In addition, I said I would pay for the ad space. In lieu of an ad would be the letter and I would pay for that space. I was informed it would still not go in. 

No, this is about censorship. This is selectiveness. This is silencing. This is about fear of others having an adverse opinion other than your own. And I can’t play that game. If you volunteer to represent your members, then you need to be transparent and accountable. And if you are afraid of public criticism as it relates to your public position, then you need to put your big panties on and either get over it or get out. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression and this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.”

In the scheme of things in this country, this bug I have seems a moot point.  But I don’t think so.

The entitlement attitude; the loss of small freedoms; the abuse of power has to start somewhere.  Small, little by little, baby steps. And then one day you wake up and wonder what happened. Not being able to put a letter in your own publication is what happened.

Terry Vahila
Malvern, OH


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