Editor's Note: The updated article discussed by Mr. Okun accurately reports on what took place at the Wayne Town Council meeting, and we stand by it. While Ms. Kumar did say she was speaking as an individual, as is noted in the article, the public has a right to know that Ms. Kumar is a member of the Board of Education, an elected position. TAPinto Wayne is committed to objective journalism and does not have an editorial page or endorse candidates. Mr. Okun's other comments are best addressed in the political ring, of which we thankfully are not involved.
Concerning your article titled BOE Member Attacks Mayor and Police Department Over Public Health Concerns in the July 18th issue of Wayne TAP I have a number of questions.
In her opening statement Dawn Kumar stated that she was speaking as an individual, not as a member of the Wayne BOE. Why was your article not titled Wayne Citizen Attacks Mayor and Police Department Over Public Health Concerns. What relevance does her BOE position have to her statement? Is a citizen and tax payer of Wayne not allowed to voice an opinion of their own without regard to any position they may hold. Or do you hold the position that any criticism of the Mayor must be politically motivated as the Mayor has so often insinuated.
Further in your article you state that you reached out to the Mayor as he did not comment on this during the meeting. After receiving his comments did you seek out a response from Dawn Kumar to his comments? Or do you subscribe to the fiction that those in power should always have the last word as does the mayor and town council?
In the article you also neglected to point out that while the Mayor was criticized for his attempt “to host a township-sponsored graduation event against executive orders”, for not wearing a mask at a ribbon cutting ceremony and for opening the town pool two days before it was allowed by the state, he did not deny his illegal actions in his response. Instead he attacked Ms. Kumar for “publicly condemn(ing) and criticize(ing) our police department’s response during the Covid-19 pandemic”. Why didn’t you point out that she didn’t criticize the police for their response to the pandemic, but their inaction regarding some illegal activity. Or better yet, why didn’t you give her the opportunity to point that out. Additionally, where is it written that the police department or any department in Wayne is above criticism. Are any of us perfect? Are they?
On a larger issue why haven’t you commented on the Mayor’s attempt at politicizing the police department? His comment on the criticism of the police department and his reference to Ms. Kumar as a member of the Board of Education clearly is an attempt to politicize her criticism, not address it. Nothing like hiding behind a fake issue to mask your own illegal actions.
His rationale? He’s the Wayne Republican Municipal Leader and is up for reelection next year. This is the same rationale that lead to his abortive attempt to hold an illegal high school graduation which resulted in a court order stopping him. He’s acting in his own self-interest and that of the Republican party, not the people and the Township of Wayne and certainly not in the interest of truth.
Wayne Democratic Municipal Leader