Letters to the Editor

Extremism and Community Spirit

d09e842ea6dad80c3ef3_24759.jpg
d09e842ea6dad80c3ef3_24759.jpg

On May 3 this year, my heart swelled with pride as I was privileged to watch an outburst of democracy, a veritable up-rising of community-spirited people power. The occasion was a Yorktown Town Board meeting. There was a public hearing on the issue of repealing of Yorktown’s Affordable Housing Act.

Without prompting, an endless chain of Yorktowners rose up to speak against this unnecessary statement-cum-repeal, and in favor of equality and fairness instead. As co-chair of the the Yorktown Democrats, it was remarkable to observe the astonishingly non-partisan nature of the outcry.

Before it was time to go home to bed, about 15 speakers were heard. Only two were recognizably active in local Democratic circles. All the rest were random citizens whose partisanship is unknown to me. All were uniformly against the repeal. While I was present, not a single speaker rose in defense of the repeal.

Sign Up for E-News

The statute in question, by admission of all sides, has apparently never been actually applied to any housing development actually built in Yorktown in the short years of its existence. It’s apparently something of a dead letter.

If it’s so unused why does the statute exist, and why is Supervisor Grace and his newly won Republican super-majority so bent on its repeal even in the face of popular opposition? Because the statute is as much statement as it is law, and so is its repeal.

The statute is a declaration that our town looks forward and stands squarely with the forces of equality and fairness. And Supervisor Grace’s pro-repeal Republican super-majority seek to make exactly the opposite statement. The repeal of this unused statute is important to them precisely because they wish to state and declare their unity with Tea Party, anti-progress, devil-take-the-hindmost, I-am-not-my-brother’s-keeper, right wing radicalism.

And that statement is directly connected to the extreme partisanship exhibited by the radical Republican super-majority in its recent town volunteer advisory board appointments. No one but active Republicans need apply.

The four most recent new appointments to the Conservation Board are Republican district leaders. The two most recent new appointments to the Planning Board are Republican district leaders.  A new member of the Ethics Board is also a Republican district leader. The one recent Democratic appointee was to the Ethics Board, whose own rules require a minimum level of partisan balance.

Mr. Grace and his Republican super-majority were elected fair and square, albeit not by landslides (council wins in November of 8 votes for one seat and 249 for the other). A majority of advisory board positions are fairly theirs. But not all. That’s not right. Nor was that the practice of the Democrats when they held majority control from 2001-9.

Nothing is forever. The political pendulum always swings back. The precedent of right-wing, radical partisanship being set by this Board is not just anti-Democratic. It is anti-democracy, anti-equality and anti-progress. It is also unforgettable.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

It Was the Economy That Got Trump Elected

I am not easily shocked by much anymore. Yet, I was by last week’s column by fellow columnist Bernie Kosberg. Kosberg, whose column runs regularly in Mahopac News and sometimes in Yorktown News, said in the first paragraph: “Several readers decried my conclusion that the overwhelming support of Putnam County voters for Trump was not due to economic anxiety or the unavailability of ...

Challenging the Norm

In his thoughtful work, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” Thomas Kuhn reflects on the revolutionary contributions of such giants as Copernicus, Newton, Darwin and Einstein. But he is quick to remind us that it’s often the scientists whose names we never hear of who make the vast majority of scientific progress. These hardworking men and women spend most of their waking ...

BOCES… What’s in a Name?

Do you ever wonder what BOCES stands for? We associate the name with a center of learning that supplements the general curriculum of local high schools by teaching students specialized trades. Beyond that, does everyone in the non-BOCES population, those who have no direct connection to the programs, fully appreciate the priceless value it brings to our communities’ young adults and their ...

Dog Allergies, Part Deux

“I have some good news and I have some bad news,” I told my husband.

“Give me the good news first.”

“OK. The vet doesn’t think the dog’s ear infections are from a food allergy after all, so we don’t have to keep feeding him that hypo-allergenic food,” I said.

“Hallelujah,” shouted my husband. He was understandably ...

Postcard Criticisms Were Valid

May 23, 2018

In an article from the May 1 issue (“Yorktown Councilmembers Receive ‘Disturbing’ Postcards”), Councilman Ed Lachterman said he was “disturbed” to receive a colored postcard from a constituent. He seems confused as to what it might mean.

I did not write that rainbow-colored postcard, but I can try to help him out of his confusion, because I and plenty ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 1, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Community Cultural Center, YORKTOWN HEIGHTS

Tai Chi for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Yorktown Youth Soccer Club Roundup

May 18, 2018

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown’s Girls U9 Team, the Hurricanes, defeated the Poughkeepsie Fireflies with a 1-0 win at Hunterbrook Field in Yorktown.

Hurricane’s goalies Cameron Parise and Avery Pugliese shut out the Poughkeepsie offense with several key saves. Yorktown controlled the ball throughout the game with outstanding performances by midfielders Samantha Nastasi, Macey ...