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Observations of the DA debate at Hevreh

By Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 Letters

To the editor:

Here are my observations regarding the recent (Aug. 23) Berkshire County district attorney candidate forum in Great Barrington. Not knowing much about the three candidates, I attended the debate hosted by Hevreh of Southern Berkshire last week. My first observation was that seats in the first two rows were saved with scarves being placed over the rows of chairs. Personally, I dislike seat-saving. My feeling is that, if you want to sit in a certain place, you should get there early. From the campaign buttons worn by those who eventually filled the seats, they were saved by Ms. Knight’s supporters.

Rabbi Hirsch announced that Mr. Caccaviello had a prior engagement and was not able to attend and that an invitation to send a representative from his campaign was declined. I was hoping to learn more about him as his were the only ads I had heard and I liked what I heard. But his nonattendance at the debate soured me and I mentally eliminated him.

Rabbi Hirsch moderated the debate between Ms. Knight and Ms. Harrington. It started off fairly with both candidates giving their opening statements. During the first part of the debate, the candidates answered the same questions, alternating with each responding first. The timekeepers did their job of notifying the speakers of 30 more seconds to speak and when their time was up. To finish an answer to one question, Ms. Knight asked for a couple more seconds, which was granted, and then spoke for about another minute.

The second part of the debate went a little differently. Audience members provided questions to Rabbi Hirsch, who allowed each candidate to answer in turn. Ms. Knight “graciously” allowed Ms. Harrington to reply first to several questions, giving herself an advantage in her answers. Twice during Ms. Harrington’s replies, I observed eye rolls from Ms. Knight, very rude and condescending to Ms. Harrington. Overall, Ms. Harrington was more professional.

Ms. Harrington has a vision and a plan. She will not negotiate plea deals with sex offenders and domestic abusers and will vigorously prosecute major drug dealers and traffickers. She will create transparency in the district attorney’s office. She will bring needed change to the office and to Berkshire County. Andrea Harrington, you have my vote!

Pat Salvi
Great Barrington