• Matt Hensel

Civility and Facebook - Updated

March 4th, 2021 - The average Football game lasts 3 hours but only has about 18 minutes of actual action. At least they serve beer.

As I sit here, speechless, processing last night's council meeting, I thought back to this piece I wrote about, then, council candidate, Tom Neville. Mr. Neville led tonight's charge (at the behest of Mayor Penn) to remove Council President Claudette Williams one week after the Stroudsburg Borough celebrated her for being the first female person of color as Mount Pocono's Council President.

To be clear, I still hold strong criticisms of President Williams' job performance on the council. Putting differences aside, the way handling of her demotion lacked dignity.

I have no way of knowing if Neville, Penn, and Bucco had ulterior motives for the upheaval. However, Neville also motioned to fire the current Borough Manager, Mr. Walker, another person of color, instead of affording him a grace period to be bonded (Council screwed up and didn't apply for the bond). The bonding company requested additional info before agreeing to issue the bond. Bucco, Neville, and O'Boyle then expressed concern over Mr. Walker's risk and potential additional costs in his bonding. They made unsuccessful motions to fire him, make him take a pay cut, and have him take a leave of absence. They aired his personal issues about his student loans, age, and credit score. When it finally came to a vote to temporarily retitle Mr. Walker's position to Secretary, Bucco cast a Yes vote because she "didn't want to be here all night." Meanwhile, Mr. Walker stood there, dignified.

Later Penn launched into a tearful, virtue-signaling laden, monologue that co-opted Black Lives Matter phraseology accusing Ms. Williams of being oppressive, not allowing him a voice, and putting her "knee on my [his] neck." It is a gutsy play considering he is a white man that freely admitted to the council that he committed and confessed to a felony a decade ago but never faced a trial and was let off without a blemish. They replaced Williams with Franny O'Boyle; a man that two months ago they felt was unfit to hold the Vice President's seat. "Franny needs to rest." "He's going to fade away, one way or another."

So, were last night's decisions racially motivated? I don't know but I suspect it's likely a combination of incompetence, pettiness, and greed. However, If you view the actions taken through the lens of Neville's prior Facebook posts, the optics are terrible.


During the September 3rd, 2019 Borough Council meeting, Mount Pocono resident and 2019 Republican candidate for Borough Council, Tom Neville, stood up and denounced those that choose to use Facebook to "tear down others." He found it offensive that certain pages and websites were publishing what he felt were false and offensive pieces of information.

I could not agree more. Unfortunately, I think Mr. Neville's own Facebook posts betray his altruistic statement.

(Warning: Some of the following images might be considered offensive to some readers)

Wontontly swerving between racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, transphobia, and spreading false news, Mr. Neville's posts should give pause to those that wish to endorse him as a candidate for Borough Council. At the time of this post, it has not. He has been endorsed by candidates and Councilmembers Montanez and Williams and Interim Mayor Penn.


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