Karlsfield,VT—The city manager of this small town in Vermont has a new requirement for City employees: that they wholeheartedly be “anti-Bennington,” referring to another small town in the southern part of the Green Mountain state.
Kevin Miles, City Manger for Karlsfield, located in northern Vermont, is mandating that all employees sign an “Anti-Bennington Pledge” declaring that they reject everyone and everything living in, near, or having any association whatsoever with Bennington.
Miles said that the goal “is not to offend Vermont citizens, though we really don’t know if you can call people in Bennington ‘citizens,’” but to “declare who we are as a thriving, progressive, open-minded town that loathes intolerance, unlike that hayseed-filled burg, Bennington.”
But, not surprisingly, now come reports that there has been reluctance and pushback to the pledge by some City employees.
One employee, who asked that we not identify him, said that the pledge has some fearing “witch hunts” in City Hall.
“We now will live in fear that somebody who doesn’t like us personally or someone who has had a bad day will report to the City Manager or somebody that we’ve been driving through Bennington on our way to New York or worse, that we’re suspected of being pro-Bennington,” the anonymous employee, who gave his name as Ron Mercure, said.
That employee said that some employees, “not that I’m saying who,” may have family “or maybe an ex-girlfriend they like to visit every now and then” living in Bennington and weren’t happy about the pledge.
The statement also requires that City employees cross out the name of Bennington with permanent marker on all state maps.
Miles said he felt the measure was a necessary evil, but would not elaborate. He also said that some suggestions by City staff to merely refer to Bennington in a derogatory way, such as calling it “Baddington” or “Bum-ington” were simply not sufficient.