To the editor,
There have been many questions regarding the resolution that I and Councilman Ed Lachterman put forward and voted on. First and foremost, a resolution is not a law nor is it open for public hearings. It is a communication from the board, in this case to the County Board of Legislators, letting the recipient know how the Town Board feels about an issue. Sometimes it is accolades and sometimes it is communicating our opinions on a matter.
We are questioning the county’s Immigration Protection Act. This act, which was on the county board’s agenda for discussion on Monday, concerns the county’s cooperation with federal law enforcement regarding detained unnaturalized and/or illegal aliens. We are simply stating that we feel that Yorktown should not be asked to be uncooperative with federal law enforcement as it will hamper the effectiveness of our police. We also ask that the county board should speak with local law enforcement on this issue before moving ahead with it and consider the ramifications to this act in respect to safety of our citizens and eligibility of federal grants. We are also calling into question the constitutionality of this act under the rights of equal protection under the law. That is all we are asking of the county board, not only as councilmen but in our responsibility as commissioners of the Yorktown police.
There has been criticism by Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Patel and Ms. Roker on the amount of time given for this resolution. A draft was sent to them 24 hours before the meeting. There was a corrected version that was not finished until 2 p.m. on Tuesday and not sent out until 4 p.m., which is regrettable. Our intention to move this was simply a desire for the county board to receive this in time for its discussion on the 26th. It is an issue that has been before the Town Board before and that Ms. Roker and Mr. Gilbert have spoken about. It is an issue that was central to the campaign that all three of them ran. It is also an issue that we would assume that any Town Board member that is also a commissioner of police would have a strong opinion on. It is very disingenuous to say, as Ms. Roker and Mr. Gilbert said, that there was not enough time to discuss this. Mr. Gilbert said that there were parts he agreed with, which he read aloud, but also stated that there were parts that he did not and remained silent on. What is there to disagree with? It talks of protecting our citizens and law enforcement and asks for the county not to disregard the input from all groups. At least that was better than Mr. Patel’s excuse that he voted no because he did not read the resolution. Bottom line is that we have been elected to make decisions for the safety and security of the town of Yorktown and its citizens. When it comes to laws, there are public hearings. When it comes to OUR resolutions, decisions are based on OUR beliefs that we were elected on. We would assume that these are not moving targets, but rooted beliefs.