Former Mayor Dave Drovetta reminded members of the governing body they represent every Gardner citizen, “whether you like them or don’t like them.”
Drovetta addressed the council during a Nov. 2 meeting due to a series of emails between his wife, Margaret Drovetta, and council member, Lee Moore, that were made public on Facebook.
Margaret emailed Moore after a meeting in late October in which Moore suggested excluding old, or experienced, citizens from newly-formed citizen advisory committees.
She wrote: “Two council members suggested that old people, or those who have previously served in a capacity on the governing body should be excluded from potential appointment. This appeared to be an attack on those who have lived in Gardner for more than a few years. Council should be reminded that discrimination against old people is not legal.”
Moore responded that Margaret had obviously believed a Gardner News article and told her she should watch the video of the meeting.
“For you own emotional well-being, I very strongly suggest you watch the city council YouTube videos before getting so obviously distressed and/or embarrassed by my alleged videos,” Moore wrote. “…This way you can see that I am a real and very normal person who harbors no ill will toward anyone, least of all, elderly members of our own family.”
Margaret said she did watch the videos and talked to people who attended the meeting. She responded that meeting in person would be pointless and that she did not have time “to waste on anyone who puts our city in a negative light.”
Moore wrote that he did not say anything to disparage old people, instead he was advocating for giving new or inexperienced people a chance to volunteer.
“You are either not being truthful or you are ignorant, but probably a little of both,” Moore wrote. “…Have a nice life. Please do not contact me again. I have wasted enough time on this to no avail.”
Moore posted most of the email exchange on his campaign Facebook page, following Dave Drovetta’s appearance at the Nov. 2 council meeting.
He said it was the full text of an email exchange initiated by the ex-Mayor’s wife.
“I post it here because I have nothing to hide or otherwise apologize for and because the ex-Mayor decided to read it aloud at last night’s meeting,” Moore posted on Facebook. “If someone attacks me I will respond with logic and reason. There is no malice in any of what I wrote.”
At press time, Moore apparently did not post an email Margaret wrote apologizing for the exchange. Dave Drovetta read that email at the Nov. 2 city council meeting. In it, Margaret said she did exactly what others had done to her husband.
“I became an instant idiot,” she wrote. “I can’t take back my offensive words. I hope you’ll accept my sincere apologies. I know better than anyone how hurtful this is to the public servant, but also to their families.”
In Facebook comments, Moore called Dave Drovetta’s comments to council “finger wagging” and said Margaret’s apology was sent to his spam email folder. Moore called the emails a coordinated attack between The Gardner News and the former mayor.