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Letter: Collins must be afraid to meet his constituents

Collins must be afraid to meet his constituents

I think I detect a pattern here.

After President Trump’s election in 2016, people in Western New York who had questions about their futures in relation to the policies of the new administration turned to their congressional representative, Chris Collins.

In spite of assurances that the meetings would be civil, Collins continued to insist that the meetings would waste his time, and refused to participate in several town hall–type forums around the district, sometimes not even bothering to respond to invitations from organizers.

After the recent school shooting in Florida, when concerns about gun violence have been reopened, County Executive Mark Poloncarz invited Collins to a public meeting where area residents could voice their concerns and ask their questions. Again, Collins indicated that he would not attend.

At about the same time, Collins has taken to removing all comments on his social media pages that are not positive, no matter how politely they are presented.

Collins recently encountered Nate McMurray, the Grand Island supervisor who is one of Collins’ challengers in his re-election bid this fall. When McMurray suggested that they meet each other in a debate later in the campaign, Collins replied that he had too much name recognition to “need” to debate McMurray.

What is it about engaging in this type of interaction with constituents and opponents that bothers Collins? Is it sheer arrogance, or is he frightened of the potential power of debate, questions and civil critique?

Ruth Hasseler


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