Letter: A Weak Case for Victimization

To the Editor:

I usually enjoy Jim Kenyon’s delving curiosity. It is his wonderful strength. But in his Dec. 2 column (“When Is Full Time Not Full Time?”) as well as his Dec. 5 column (“No Money, No Sense,”) his taste for our town manager’s blood has made him careless.

Twice in a week he has portrayed a town employee “and her young son going without health insurance because Norwich doesn’t consider her a full-time employee.” As a parent and a dedicated Kenyon fan, my blood starts to boil.

But his interview with the same employee, quoted in a May 13 column, indicates that the situation isn’t as black-and-white as his more recent columns suggest.

“So even though she works for one of the state’s wealthiest communities,” Kenyon wrote in that earlier column, “(Judy) Trussell and her 5-year-old son, Tanner, go without health insurance. ‘My son has never been to a dentist,’ she told me. ... With her wages, I imagine that Trussell could qualify for subsidized health care assistance from the state. ‘That’s not my style,’ she told me.”

What are we to think when medical and dental care is denied to a child by a parent, not for religious reasons, but because Vermont’s outstanding and widely available health coverage for children is, “not my style”?

At the least, I think it nullifies Kenyon’s case for victimization. However noble his motives, I think Kenyon has displayed a rare rush to judgment.

Robert Spottswood