Letter to the editor 1, Jan. 14, 2016

Open letter to Diane Piacente,

I read with interest and pleasure your consideration about the Villandré affair (Your Local Journal, December 17, page 5). I always admired the dignity, grace, and consistency with which you served our community. The fact that among many, you chose to publicly comment on the subject is a confirmation of the justice of my original assessment.

At the time of my return to Canada from Europe in 1994, and my return to Hudson, I briefly had some dealing with Madame Villandré about my rights to vote in local municipal elections even while keeping my official residence somewhere else. I couldn’t avoid assessing my interlocutor in appearance, body language, patterns of speech, sound and words, and attitude towards the other people working at City Hall. After our exchange, I offered some observations on the subject to a couple of municipal employees with whom I had a rather friendly relation through pervious contact in past years.

Villandré is – was – no Madoff, Porter, or Johnson. She definitely lacked the personal panache and the context to rank as an “embezzler” with a capital “E.” Her transgression was probably a consequence of some psychological “settling of scores,” a “compensatory” game, a reaction to a personal reality in her rapport with herself, her self-image, and her pretensions of pretended or real power. Her transgression was similar to the opportunity of a rodent confronted with accessible, irresistible tidbits unguarded in a trusting environment.

I believe her real life sentence is to be Villandré for the rest of her days, and the loss of the puny bureaucratic power which was probably paramount in buttressing the unstable components of her psychological “equilibrium.”

Andrea Maria Coda di San Grato


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