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.