A female member of the North Hampton board of selectmen believes sexism is at work in keeping her from becoming board chair. Her complaint comes from the fact that the North Hampton board doesn’t automatically rotate the top post. Instead, its members choose.
Whether sexism is at work here may be difficult to prove, but that is what board member Kathleen Kilgore thinks and we think she has a right to her opinion.
But current chairman Jim Maggiore disagrees. He has filed an ethics complaint against Kilgore because she used the term “sexist” in describing the dispute.
Until our story on the matter, we were unaware that the term is somehow unethical or even particularly pejorative. But it must be one of those “trigger words” we have been hearing about.
According to Maggiore, it “carries with it a label that could remain with me for my entire political and professional career, as well as my personal life.”
He won’t, he avers, “stand by idly and have my reputation besmirched without recourse.”
Kilgore has responded to Maggiore’s ethics complaint by engaging a lawyer, who tells the press that his client now feels a chill or, more precisely, a chilling effect from the complaint.
“She feels as though if she were to ever state how she was feeling or ever state her personal opinion on a matter, she could be brought (up) again against this code of ethics and this quasi-judicial body will be able to enforce what they’re trying to do now and silence her saying anything to the press.”
This is how wars start.
Our advice to both parties would be to just chill.
Go down to the beach, take a deep breath, and admire the view.