Letter to the Editor: Fire Authority Board Article

We received the following Letter to the Editor in response to our recent article regarding the resignation of the chair of the Fire Authority Board.


In response to your recent article on the resignation of the Chair of the Lowell Fire Authority at a recent workshop that I facilitated, I would note the following:

  • My job, as I understood it, from Mayor DeVore, was to help the Board come together and be more productive. I would never take on any team process that would have the intent of “targeting” anyone. While I was aware of the tension between the Chair and the Mayor, I viewed my job as helping them and the Board find a productive place to move forward. Mayor DeVore totally embraced this approach.
  • Ownership of a problem or issue is a key step in the process of bringing people together who have strong differing points of view. I was impressed with Mayor DeVore’s willingness to step up and “own” his part in any problems and issues.
  • The previous Chair’s allegation that Mayor DeVore is a bully, deserves a response. I have facilitated several workshops with the Mayor’s involvement. Never have I seen a hint of any bully like behavior. Indeed, the Mayor appears to be highly respected. He clearly presents his thoughts and ideas and is always open to the thoughts and ideas of others.
  • In my view you over-stepped the boundaries of ethical journalism by citing two anonymous sources to support the bully charge. This kind of unsubstantiated pablum reduces your credibility.

Please feel free to share this with your readers.

Lewis G. Bender, PhD.

Editor’s response: Confidential sources have long had their place in journalism. One only needs to look to the reporting on the Watergate scandal to see that. The Toronto Star provides a clear explanation of the necessity of confidential sources, and it is worth your time to read it. As they say, “Democracy depends on these sources who tell journalists things that powerful people seek to keep secret.”

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