By Alan Marchione
On Tuesday, March 22, City Council held a Special Meeting to publicly discuss the topic of citizens possessing concealed weapons permits, and their ability to lawfully carry firearms into city facilities. Due to a conflict in scheduling and my inability to personally attend, a councilmember offered to read a letter on my behalf in support of the item.
Councilmember Peggy Chapados advocated that he not read the letter, and if the item were truly important to me, that I would make it a point to be personally present at the meeting.
Chapados is retired, and never having a family of her own, may not fully comprehend the demand for time and resources that are placed on the average American household. As a single father raising two children, working full time, and serving as board president for the Villages at Rancho El Dorado Home Owners Association, my schedule can conflict with city meetings. Being a dedicated employee, an active parent, and an involved member of the community, I represent a majority demographic of Maricopa constituents.
Mrs. Chapados’s conduct is unbecoming, unethical and unprofessional. In fact, I find her attempt at limiting my ability to take part in the democratic process to be “un-American.” Furthermore, as a former United States Marine, I did not give five years of my life protecting our most dearly held rights as Americans just so Mrs. Chapados, who has never served, can dictate when citizens’ thoughts, views and ideas are permitted. As my elected representative, I ask that Councilmember Chapados please conduct herself in an appropriate and professional manner, and display dedication to her civic duty by supporting, not limiting, the voices of those she is intended to represent.
After filing a complaint with Chapados regarding this matter, she lacked the professionalism to even confirm receipt, nor did she express any remorse or acknowledgement that these actions infringe on our rights as citizens of this municipality. Any accountable elected representative would feel obligated to address such a complaint. Chapados should no longer be recognized as a representative voice for the people of Maricopa, but as a representative for personal interests and political agenda.
Although the measure did pass (to allow concealed carry permit holders the right to bear arms within city facilities,) Councilmember Chapados ultimately voted against the measure, thus conflicting with her oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and vying to negate our Second Amendment rights.
If it should again surface that Chapados has attempted to act maliciously in limiting citizens’ right to take part in activities involving our local government, it will become necessary to immediately file a formal ethics complaint against her with the City of Maricopa, and let the council openly, and publicly, decide on the matter.
Alan Marchione is a resident of Maricopa.