Be careful what you read. The June 13 article, “Yorktown Residents and Supervisor Candidate Criticize Park Conditions," says that Matt Slater, candidate for Yorktown town supervisor, staged a photo-op and social media campaign to accuse Supervisor Ilan Gilbert of mismanagement and neglect of our parks. If you read this article, you will surely be misled.
Who is to blame for the condition of our parks, playgrounds and tennis courts? Mr. Slater says it’s all Supervisor Gilbert’s fault. But wait. Did these problems happen on Jan. 1, 2018, when Mr. Gilbert took office? Of course not, they existed for, and were ignored by former Republican supervisor Michael Grace during his six years in office as well as his colleagues, Councilmen Tom Diana and Ed Lachterman, once they joined the Town Board. Where were Councilmen Diana and Councilmen Lachterman when it came to appropriating the money to properly maintain and repair our recreational facilities?
It was well-known by the previous administration that building the Granite Knolls Sports and Recreation Complex for $6 million would leave the Parks and Recreation staff spread thin, but Michael Grace and his administration did not address the staff issue or plan ahead. But you won’t find Mr. Slater looking at the real issues, the history, or how they came about.
Who addressed the problem? That’s right, it was Supervisor Gilbert who hired a new staff member to support the increased demands on our Parks and Recreation Department that resulted from maintaining the new sports complex.
Not only does Mr. Slater not know the history of our parks, but he can’t seem take time to review the minutes from Town Board meetings where safe pesticides were voted on by Tom Diana. Instead, he suggests in the article that unsafe pesticides are being used in the parks. The pesticide policy was adopted in 2009 and amended multiple times, most recently in 2017. Does Mr. Slater bother to speak with Councilmen Diana or Councilmen Lachterman about our Parks and Recreation policies, budgets and issues they have voted on? No, he stages photo ops and uses the media to spread misinformation.
In closing, I would like to add, a leader doesn’t blame. A leader solves problems, which is what Supervisor Gilbert has been doing these past 18 months. Don’t be fooled by dramatic headlines. Be careful what you read. It may not be the truth.