At the August 6 Board of Supervisors meeting, Audrey Regnery revealed that an official in the county responded to an email from Chris Doxzen by telling Ms. Doxzen to “go [expletive] yourself.” Mrs. Regnery distributed the email to each member of the board. Mrs. Regnery requested that the board censure the offending official or take other appropriate action. (Neither Mrs. Regnery nor anyone else named the offending official, but his name is on the email she distributed).
After public comments closed, [Supervisor] John Lesinski said that the Board of Supervisors should make a stand for civility, and offered a motion that the board send a letter reprimanding the official for his uncivil conduct.
Mr. Frazier objected because: the item was not on the agenda; Ms. Doxzen had said in her email that the official was a “pariah” and Ms. Doxzen is not a “member of our community,” notwithstanding her long and continued involvement in Rappahannock, writing for this newspaper, and her continuing proximity to the county [she lives in Reva]. Not a single word was spoken by any supervisor other than Mr. Lesinski condemning the intemperate and abusive response to Ms. Doxzen.
I am not aware of any reason this item cannot be on the agenda for the next BOS meeting, and I eagerly await each member of the BOS taking a position on whether it is permissible conduct for a county official to tell anyone, whether a resident of this county or not, and whether provoked or not, to “go [expletive] yourself.” I will not be the only one watching.
What I believe is a small minority of county citizens, albeit a very vocal minority, routinely uses uncivil, bullying language as any reader of RappNet or the reporting and letters in this newspaper knows. That does not mean this conduct is acceptable or that it should not be called out when it occurs.
Public shaming may or may not have any effect on the incivility in the county, but the continued incivility, especially by a public official, abases any of us who ignore it and tolerate what should be unacceptable.