At the March 23 Pinehurst Village Council meeting, the mayor refused to allow Ashleigh Corsino to speak because he didn’t deem her comments germane to the meeting. He did, however, allow another resident to address the topic of yard debris.

No offense to that resident; he had every right to address his village council, but I didn’t see yard debris on the agenda either. Refusing to allow Mrs. Corsino to address the Village Council and insisting on vetting her comments is a violation of her First Amendment rights, and the mayor should be ashamed of himself.

I don’t know what was so threatening about her comments that the mayor would refuse to let her speak; she drew a picture for him, for crying out loud. I can only conclude that he shut her down because he fears the threats that the Freedom Matters NC group conveyed to him at the March 9 meeting.

Whatever his reasons, though, he trampled on the rights of a military spouse. In addition to being an active-duty soldier, her husband is also an ER doctor. Dr. Corsino has been taking care of COVID patients at FirstHealth in addition to his full-time job as an Army doctor.

As a former active-duty soldier myself, I can only imagine how busy he must be. He and his family have made a lot of sacrifices and put their well-being at risk for the greater good of the community.

As Ashleigh’s friend, I have seen the sacrifices she has made. I know being a military spouse isn’t easy under normal circumstances. What a slap in the face it must be to hear the mayor say your concerns aren’t important enough to be heard.

Jackie Sharp Brown


Publisher’s Note: This is a letter to the editor, submitted by a reader, and reflects the opinion of the author. The Pilot welcomes letters from readers on its Opinion page, which serves as a public forum. The Pilot is not in the business of suppressing public opinion. We are a forum for community debate, and publish almost every letter we receive. For information on how to make a submission, visit this page:

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