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I'm sorry I voted for Stonington First Selectwoman Chesebrough

I was alarmed last week to read that protesters brandishing shotguns have been turning up at Texas businesses to help them defy closure orders from the governor and reopen.

And then, to my great surprise, the first selectwoman of the town where I live turned up Wednesday to support a barber shop owner who was boldly defying Gov. Ned Lamont's order to wait a few more weeks to reopen.

First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough wasn't carrying a rifle. Worse, she was horribly misusing the power of her elected office, undermining the very basic premise of our society: that we follow laws.

I can't think of any single vote that I'd rather take back than the one I cast for Chesebrough. Who would have ever thought I would be nostalgic for the administration of the last first selectman, Rob Simmons?

Not only did Chesebrough turn up in what looked like an endorsement of the protest opening, but she offered to run to Town Hall to fetch the needed face shield the barber shop owner apparently lacked.

If she wanted to interfere, she should have tried to convince the shop owner to abide by lawful public health orders.

I agree with all those who say the governor was wrong on this one. He should not have, at the eleventh hour, withdrawn permission for hair salons to reopen this week, having already granted it.

I understand the barber shop owner's frustration, and I don't blame her for reopening.

I do wonder, though, why she essentially issued a news release, writing to The Day in advance about her plans. And I wonder about those American flags all over the shop. It strikes me that disobeying lawful orders is unpatriotic. It's like spitting on the flag.

If the first selectwoman doesn't like the governor's order, she should get on the phone and talk to him. Organize a protest, march around the Capitol or throw a news conference and complain to your heart's content.

But don't enable defiance of lawful orders to protect public health.

Chesebrough wasn't the only elected leader to show up and celebrate the publicized insult to maintaining civil order.

State Sen. Heather Somers of Groton was there, too. That didn't surprise me, since the senator who dreams in technicolor of moving one day to the governor's mansion surely must have sensed a television moment.

It didn't bother me as much that she turned up to complain about the governor's order, since I didn't vote for her.

I could disagree with a lot of the decisions Gov. Lamont has made in this health crisis, as he tried to safeguard the health care system and limit the number of people who have lost their lives in Connecticut.

He is certainly trying very hard. Of course he'd like to see the barber shops open right away, too.

He goes to the microphone to answer questions and explain himself almost every day. We are making progress.

There are lot of lawful ways to protest if you don't like it.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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