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HAMPSHIRE – It started with a nasty comment on the Hampshire community page when a Democrat lamented that their Lauren Underwood sign had been stolen and someone responded that it was the garbage men taking out the trash.
Heather Fodor, Democratic precinct committeeman for Hampshire 3, said she replaced the sign.
Then she heard that a Trump sign had been stolen and offered to pay to replace it – but Laura Pollastrini, the Republican precinct committeeman for Hampshire 2, had told her it was already replaced.
But other signs were stolen and then in Fodor’s own neighborhood, a kid accidentally ran over his family’s Trump and Ugaste signs with his bike – and she replaced them as well.
“It was nothing nefarious,” Fodor said. “They have a ramp at the end of the driveway and he missed. … I had access to all Democrat signs and I reached out to Laura for the Republican signs and replaced them.”
But the nastiness both women decried on the Hampshire Facebook page goes on.
“I just don’t understand people being nasty to each other,” Fodor said.
Pollastrini said she also wanted to counter all the negativity on the Hampshire community page.
“We try to keep people off the page who are so nasty,” Pollastrini said. “I have seven signs in my yard including one for Trump. No one touched anything in my yard, but I have not felt that negativity before.”
Both women wanted to stand up for civility during the current election cycle, with division and negativity in an upswing.
“As partisan as I have always been, I have always been civil to all people and have had discussions with people who have been on the opposite side,” Pollastrini said. “I pride myself on being able to have a spirited conversation with people who disagree with me.”
Pollastrini suggested they document how they can disagree and be kind to each other with a photo, and they met outside the Hampshire Village Hall to do just that.
Fodor said she was raised in a house divided as her father was a Republican Committeeman and her mother ran for office as a Democrat.
“Laura and and I agree that when people post signs on private property, we should all be respectful of that,” Fodor said. “And if we see people who are not (being respectful) and it’s somebody I know, believe me I’m reaching out. We don’t do that. That’s not OK. And I’m sure Laura is doing the same.”