Letter: Be a good neighbor

Posted 7/14/21

To the editor:

I am heartbroken over a conversation I had recently with a family who lives in our community. They reached out to the council, looking for help. I took time to sit down with them …

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Letter: Be a good neighbor

Posted

To the editor:

I am heartbroken over a conversation I had recently with a family who lives in our community. They reached out to the council, looking for help. I took time to sit down with them and listen. 

The abusive actions taken by some residents to make their neighbors -- our neighbors -- experience fear and anxiety is unacceptable. It is on all of us to do something, but it’s especially on those of us in government -- elected, appointed, and hired -- to do more, and to do better.

What I heard as I listened to these Barringtonians recount their disturbing, ongoing saga, echoed themes I've heard and seen from too many people in our town.

The disruption of peace, theft of privacy, and the weaponization of zoning, building and property regulations against neighbors, perpetuated while finding cover behind municipalities' reluctance to engage in what is often dismissed as "neighbor disputes" and “civil matters” has become a far too common occurrence.

These abhorrent actions need to stop. Now.

I would classify a neighbor dispute in a peaceful suburb as an argument over who is responsible for mowing the strip of grass between the trees along a property line.

Incessant intimidation and trying to make anybody feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in their town or in their home is not a neighbor dispute. These behaviors do not warrant protection, nor can they continue to be ignored. This harassment constitutes acts of aggression that carry a heavy cost to us all.

Nobody is entitled to the theft of another’s peace.

If we are to be a civil, just society… If we are to have a peaceful town, this behavior can no longer be perpetuated by any of us, and must be unacceptable to all of us.

Jacob Brier

Barrington

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Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.