At town meeting this year, Johnson voters adopted an “inclusivity statement” for the town that aimed to “build bridges to understanding, ensuring that all who live, work and visit our town feel welcome and safe.”
Recently, the town select board found itself wrestling with the concept, as one of its members had to explain a Facebook post this summer calling for a boycott against a local business.
Kyle Nuse lambasted Johnson Woolen Mills in July after its CEO, Stacy Manosh, was quoted agreeing with President Donald Trump’s tweets telling four congresswomen from immigrant families to go back to where they came from.
Manosh told a Vermont reporter, “I would have added, ‘If you’re not happy here, you can leave and we’ll help you pack.’”
Nuse shared that quote on her Facebook page in July, along with “#BoycottJohnsonwoolenmills.”
At the Sept. 16 select board meeting, during a discussion about hiring someone to conduct racial sensitivity training, Johnson resident Bobbi Rooney took Nuse to task for her post, calling the boycott “rotten to the core.”
As of last week, at Nuse’s request, the meeting minutes have now been made official with a transcription of that portion of the meeting.
Nuse defended her post, saying it was “specifically targeting specific people that would not feel comfortable in our community and that is something that I feel like is really important to call out.”
Rooney said, “I’m trying to figure out if it’s only one group of people that you want in your little clique and the rest of us have to leave or are we all going to make this community work together?”
— Tommy Gardner