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Originally I was going to title this as “The Lynching of Pauline Conley” but after I spoke various people, including local politicians, I have come to the conclusion that the installation and removal of Ms. Conley was a staged event in order to return Ayer to politics-as-usual. Pauline was just a tool; she was the means to their end.

The Board of Selectmen knew what they were getting when they put Pauline Conley in the position of chairman. There were no surprises. So why then did the board put her in the position of chairman in the first place? It’s all about politics.

That there were several past selectmen in the audience at the past meeting, ready to pounce at the opportunity to speak about the virtuous past boards, speaks volumes.

Understand some of these selectmen presided on boards that dodged “dam gate” as well as past Police Department issues, and of course the financial debacle within the school system.

So why set up Ms. Conley? Pauline is a proponent of open government and fiscal responsibility. Ayer politics-as-usual is one of wheeling and dealing behind a closed door. Airing your dirty laundry in public is not pretty but it is so much better than secret deals. The future of Ayer’s financial condition was put in doubt by this charade.

This is the time we in Ayer need someone of Ms. Conley’s financial acumen. If this was an issue of manners and management skill, why wouldn’t the Board of Selectmen have suggested Ms. Conley attend a management seminar to refine or even teach her the required skills, just like Ayer would do for any other employee?

Or was Ms. Conley just a political pawn in this game of politics?


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