“Fathers, do not nag your children lest they lose heart” is a biblical quote that I loved hearing as a child. It didn’t apply to Dad; he was the gentlest parent to his seven daughters and three sons, but I loved the notion that he was also answerable to a higher power.

I’ve since broadened my interpretation of that passage. Today, it should be lived by all people who have control over others. It certainly should apply to elected officials, who are sworn to be responsible.

My husband, Ross, and I had a combined 20 years in the Legislature and did constituent services for 50. We know that dysfunction is not normal. Instead of doing the job they were elected to do, officials moan and groan.

The dissonance came to the St. John Valley at a hearing held for the elderly about their issues. An hour and a half into the hearing, we had been talked to, lectured to and harangued by the governor and legislators on a myriad of issues. The major sin of the elderly is that they are major consumers of pensions, health care and possibly food; that is all welfare, don’t you know.

I observed the audience sinking in their chairs under the tongue-lashing. They were the survivors of our communities. Many had raised large, healthy, well-educated families with little money.

I respectfully stated that the talking points should be made in Augusta without forgetting our people. Some individuals then reminded the governor that all the food, heat, gas and utilities that he and his family get at the Blaine House come from our hard-earned tax dollars. Welfare! The contentious non-hearing adjourned abruptly.

Every day, the voices of the people are being drowned by the dissonant cacophony of some elected officials. The people of our beautiful state deserve better.

Judy Ayotte Paradis

Frenchville