I have found that in the world of newspaper opinion columns, my contributions run from frivolous to fired-up. The frivolous include stories about my son-in-law, Ol’ What’s His Name, tales of some decades-old shenanigans that have a bit of bearing on current Peabody events or personalities, and memories of my own growing up years. When I am fired up I tend to give my six regular readers and the rest of you ‘what for’ about mowing, whining, smoking, voting, trash, city council meeting attendance, vandalism, and other topics that chap my hide.
One more thing — the biggest complaint I have is lodged against you people who hide behind an anonymous or non-existent signature. You know that person. He/she is terrific about writing a page or two about some perceived insult, slight, or complaint, but does not have the fortitude to actually stand behind the accusation with a name.
This week I am all about it once again. I have a few things to say to you who criticize local individuals, organizations, or businesses, but refuse to sign your name to your complaint. Don’t care? Don’t want to read it? Then turn the page now.
Here is the thing -- Peabody is small town. It always has been and likely always will be. Like thousands of other small towns across the country, we struggle to stay viable. We fight for businesses to come here and if we get them, we hope our residents will support them. We hope they will be successful and their doors will remain open. Locally generated sales tax dollars contribute to our infrastructure upgrades, allow our children to have a swimming pool and a great park, repair our city streets, pay for snow removal and police protection, provide us with water and sewer (no matter what your opinion of either may be), and many other services.
If you have a bad experience with a business, your best option is to have a conversation — face to face — with the owner. Try to come to some kind of resolution. Firing off an unsigned tirade against them serves no purpose. You may not get the result you want by being upfront about the problem, but then again, you might.
Not everyone is going to agree with my stand and that is fine. This is my column. My name is at the end of it. If you disagree with me and want me to know, that is fine also. However, I am not going to give you equal billing here if you do not even have the presence of your convictions to sign your name to your complaint.
You do not get to have credibility by mailing an anonymous letter filled with criticism. While I am fairly certain I know who you are, I really do not care what your opinion is.
Moreover, you cannot be too proud of it if your name is not attached.