Letter to the editor: Smith a target

Smith a target

It is fascinating to read that, down through history, people have tried to stifle those who endeavor to help the desperate and defenseless members of humanity.

The latest target is Annette Smith, executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, who has, for several years now, been helping people negotiate the convoluted process required for being heard by the Public Service Board as these people try to keep from being overrun by wealthy and powerful energy developers.

The Attorney General's office has just started an investigation into whether Annette's selfless actions of helping these people should now lead to criminal charges against her for unauthorized practice of law. The irony here is that Annette Smith has been constantly complaining to the Public Service Department, the Public Service Board and state legislators during the last couple of years that there should be a public advocate doing what she does so that she won't have to continue to exhaust herself to help these people be heard. The response from the state folks is that, because Smith is helping, there is no need for a public advocate to help the little people be heard when they are up against the large developers.

By helping the public speak out about how the large developers are harming them, Annette Smith has angered these developers. I'll bet the developers are too embarrassed to reveal who among them complained to the Attorney General's office about Smith helping people be heard.

What is it in human nature that causes people to want to clip the wings of the rare and invaluable living Angels of humanity, those men and women, like Annette Smith, who are the so very few willing to stand up for the desperate and helpless against the powerful when no one else dares?

— Justin Lindholm Mendon


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