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The Genuine Vs. The Counterfeit
Lawrence School Committeeman Peter Larocque

For the past several Lawrence School Committee meetings, during the public participation portion of the meeting, we, the citizens of Lawrence, have been exhorted by School Commit-tee Member James Vittorioso, not to be fooled at the next election. I couldn’t agree more. I would like to take a moment and respectfully add the following to his exhortation to help the won-derful citizens of Lawrence not to be fooled.

At Lawrence’s next election, there will be two types of candidates. I have affection-ately called them the genuine and the counterfeit candidates along with their supporters. Both will be running for City Council as well as School Committee.

The counterfeit candidates will be like wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will be the ones who will tell you that life as we know it is coming to an end! But do not worry, they are here to save us from all the corruption that plagues Lawrence.

Furthermore, some of the counterfeit candidates will be in the race for payback reasons. They believe that they have been wronged and want to get back at those who wronged them. To accomplish this they will try to use the voters to keep the politics of hatred and bitterness along with un-forgiveness alive and well in Lawrence. Wonderful examples for our children, don‘t you think?

I believe that there is too much hatred in Lawrence politics. It’s okay to disagree and to have debates and discussions, but for some the spirit of hatred holds them hostage. For example, some are still upset over the location and purpose of the new Lawrence High School campus. Others would even go to the extent of hoping that our new High School fails just so that they can say, “I told you so,” to the administration! You can tell this just by listening to the tone of their voices or by reading their written word.

They would do themselves, along with everybody else, a lot of good if they would just let the hatred go!

Another characteristic of the counterfeit candidate is the fact that they have not been seen at school committee meetings or city council meetings because they only come out during election season. But somehow, someway, they have what we, the citizens of Lawrence, need to make it through the dark days ahead.

Soon we will begin to see them around and they will be the ones complaining very loudly yet offering no real answers. They will use words like “We must be proactive”. But they, themselves, haven’t been active at all except to be negative.

On the other hand, the genuine candidates are easy to identify because they are here and working! They are the ones who have been showing up and are willing to give back to the city without any self-serving ambition. The genuine candidates put love for God, family and country first! They believe that in order to receive respect, it must be earned! The genuine candidates are here to serve, not to be served! They are the ones who promote unity and community involvement in a positive manner. The genuine does not need to be told to show up, just where to show up! They also say what they mean and mean what they say.

Finally, the genuine candidates do not proclaim that they have all the answers, but are willing to roll up their sleeves, work hard and are not afraid to bring people together to help to get the answers.

The citizens of Lawrence must realize that, in order for the counterfeit candidates to be successful, they have to really look and sound genuine, and only those who have been paying attention will be able to separate the two.

So my dear fellow citizens of Lawrence, do not be fooled at election time. By September, if you look really close, you should be able to separate the genuine from the counterfeit candidates. All Lawrence can ask of its citizens is that they choose wisely!

Peter Larocque is a member of the Lawrence School Committee, 255 Essex St. Lawrence, MA 01842. He was elected by the Lawrence City Council to fill the unexpired term of Amy McGovern. You can email him at plarocque@lawrence.k12.ma.us

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The July 2007 Edition of the Valley Patriot
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