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I have written about the topic of local trolls, those that just want to post insults and expletives online, several times over the years and recently was prompted to revisit it. My last commentary was an open letter to Supervisor Barger regarding my support for the landfill continuing to service the needs of our Santa Clarita Valley communities and the county. That was my opinion, you can agree or disagree with it, and you can certainly have your own point of view. Nothing wrong with that; it’s civil discourse.

But, one opponent of the small but vocal group against the landfill decide to call me some choice names. My response was that it was lowbrow and yet another example of the tactics that this small group is employing to intimidate, shout down, and bully those that want to state their views. It doesn’t work with me. I won’t be bullied by this handful of bullies because we each have a right to state our own opinion. My letter was simply that, an opinion.

It was also backed up with facts, which is something that the bullies don’t want you to know. Instead of countering my views, these bullies just start shouting insults; screaming profanities to try and drown out those that are laying out an intelligent case that supports their views.

That is what one resident in Val Verde tried to do to me on The SCV Beacon Facebook page. It didn’t work and never does. What that kind of behavior has done in the community is highlight that the opponents don’t have a case; they can’t articulate their viewpoint so instead start shouting or writing profanities against those that are validating their views in an intelligent fashion. The opponents can’t stand that and so they start cursing, heckling, and generally behaving poorly whether in public meetings or online.

That type of behavior has become all too prevalent in our society today. We can see it on the nightly news where town hall meeting on health care turn into verbal chaos of attendees shouting and not allowing elected officials to speak without being interrupted. You can’t get your own way by bullying someone, it just doesn’t work. Whatever happened to a debate or a two-way conversation? It doesn’t seem to exist anymore. That’s a shame.

My hope is that the county will do the right thing on the landfill and allow it to continue operating. I also hope that the county goes the extra step and does a full assessment of the Val Verde community and their claims of health issues. Maybe it is time for that community to get rid of the septic tanks and get into the twenty-first century with a mainline sewer system. That might quiet the local screaming trolls for a while.

Dave Bossert- Commentary

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on several boards and councils. He is a more than 30-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.