Vandalizing Hensel plays right into her hands

So this week, Robin Hensel sent out a letter to every media outlet and law enforcement agency in the area claiming that someone has stolen the flag off of her house. and damaged signs on her vehicle.

While Hensel has irritated a lot of people in this community, we urge people to get a grip. It makes all of us look bad when a few people resort to criminal activity to express their displeasure.

The only way that Hensel will ever get most law-abiding citizens on her side is if she gets sympathy because of criminal acts of theft, damage to property or violence against her.

At times Hensel has flown the flag upside down, which can be interpreted as either a sign of distress or a sign of disrespect, depending upon your view. Either way, it is constitutionally protected speech.

Thousands of people have given their lives for this nation to protect fundamental rights such as that. While no constitutional right is absolute, we think it would be far better to defeat Hensel in the marketplace of ideas and at the ballot box, than it is to take actions that suggest we don’t believe in the rights outlined in the Constitution.

Yes, Hensel has cost city taxpayers nearly $100,000 because of her lawsuit against the city. That came about because the city determined that it would be less expensive to pay her $39,500 than to pay attorneys far more (already more than $53,000 in January) to defend the city. The agreement to which the city and Hensel agreed admits no guilt on either side.

We have said before, and we say again, the best way to keep Hensel from irritating or provoking the community is to ignore her. That is more difficult for the City Council, which hears from her at almost every Council meeting, but the Council was elected by majority vote and should have the confidence to conduct the city’s business as it sees fit. Voters get to tell them how they are doing every couple years no matter what.

Hensel may disagree with the Council, but that’s no reason for anybody to physically attack her or her property. She is getting far more attention than is warranted. Ignore her.

  • robin hensel

    yes and then there is building potential for another lawsuit for SELECTIVE ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT. Taxpayer lawsuits if the city has indeed misused ANY PUBLIC FUNDS, or indeed violated anyone’s( especially my) DUE PROCESS. I will not let up, until this entire area, it’s citizens, it’s elected representatives, city and county staff, and law enforcement officials abide by the LAW !!! Promise. May as well know that my entire neighborhood has been experiencing much disorderly conduct by drivers hollering insults, shouting profanity, squealing tires and creating much hubbub out front of the block I live on. I run surveillance cameras every night, and those who are behaving badly, will eventually pay a price for their misdeeds, and may be arrested. I am gleaning more dirt from 4 more data requests at city hall….awaiting my inspection later today. Every city needs to have somebody doing exactly what I have done…..uncovering all the information that has been hidden from the public eye.

  • robin hensel

    The community will have a CLEAR CHOICE THIS ELECTION YEAR, for honest/ forthright/transparent/inclusive/above the board representation. I will file for office soon. Promise. If people want me to represent them, and continue to unearth the dirt, they will elect me. If not, the residents will get more of the same. Non-uniform/ selective law enforcement and city council/mayoral decisions that will cost the city plenty into the future. VOTE THE BUMS OUT!!!!

  • Anthony Noel

    Or how about this? Pay attention to the completely valid points she is making about war, Council collusion to silence people with opposing points of view (officials, once elected represent ALL residents, not just those who voted for them), and stop acting like y’all did in grade school.

  • J. Uchiha

    Not condoning any acts of vandalism on any persons property, but how does this make “..all of us look bad.”? When your neighbors garage is broken into or windows smashed, does it make “all of us” look bad? No, it doesn’t.

    And why don’t I ever see any other pieces from your editorial staff about other people that are vandalized? This is completely ridiculous and unnecessary, why respond on her incident and not any of the other hundreds happening around the county?

  • Concerned citizen

    At least someone in this town has the backbone to question authority, while I don’t agree with all of her shenanigans, she does have some very valid points! I think her signs and lawn art draw more people/visitors/attention to this town than the so called self supporting splash pad ever will!!
    Keep em’ honest Robin!!

    • robin hensel

      We could build on that too Jeff….like I suggested at the Town 180 meeting at the CVB….we should have a SIGN CONTEST and let others in on the fun by exercising their IDEA SPEECH. Little Falls COULD capitalize on this city created lawsuit and instead focus on encouraging laughing at it’s own mistakes. Take for example the humorous CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES. People love SATIRE. We have the makings of a truly superb opportunity to do something wonderful with what otherwise may be continued bitter feelings in Little Falls. Tourists might come from miles around to view residents artistic yard art and SIGNS. Currently there is no SIGN CAPITOL in MinneSIGNta. It could be a real hoot. Why not promote THAT!! Free speech should never be a DISAPPEARING RIGHT. Soon the residents of my quaint little river town will be presented with all the ideas for the public good I have encouraged the council to consider. The voters will decide what direction they wish their city to take. I sincerely hope they choose transparency and justice.

  • robin hensel

    Once again the Record has it wrong!! Hensel has not cost the city 100k….your city staff, AND council current and former VIOLATED MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS and that MATTERS!!! There would have been no lawsuit if the city followed the LAW.

  • robin hensel

    I sure hope the moderator posts my comment as to “Hensel didn’t cost the taxpayers 100k, the council past and present, the city attorney past and present and the city staff past and present, caused the violation of my right to free speech on the bench.”

  • Amy Malecha Kedrowski

    Typically I enjoy reading the editorial, but this has to be one of the most hypocritical opinions I have ever read. Advise the community to ignore Robin Hensel? Guess which newspaper continually gives her the attention she seeks, in almost every weekly issue. And then have the audacity to act outraged by people’s actions? When has any other resident been vandalized, and it became the subject of the editorial? I think it’s about time Tom West take his own advice – ignore her. Stop reporting on every single “cry for attention” act she does. Once she stops getting the MEDIA ATTENTION she clearly craves, maybe then she will stop.

    • newpolitiq7

      Why should she stop? She has as much right as you or I do to express her opinion. I actually agree with the content of many of Ms. Hensel’s opinions (regarding war/peace issues, our national budget being a Christian issue re: morality, and so forth). I might not always agree with her manner of expression. So what? We’re lucky to live in a country where we have freedom of expression. We don’t always need to agree, but we need to respectfully consider the opinions of others. Thanks for sharing your view, Amy! And I’m also grateful that Robin Hensel keeps us on our toes regarding a number of otherwise potentially overlooked issues.

  • newpolitiq7

    Interesting advice, Mr. West; “Just ignore her.” It’s almost as good as your “might equals right” advice – not that wise. Why not, instead, take a different approach? Why not ask what we, as a community, sometimes need to learn from the less popular voices? Why not? You’re so quick to condemn the “gadfly”. Look it up — we need more of these in the community — maybe not always as divisive as this one, but if a few more voices weighed in, this one might not need take on all of the fury.