To the editor,
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, I was asked to go to a Town Board meeting in the event some on our board brought up the fact that they disagree with the new supervisor’s decision to put the construction project at Granite Knolls back where it belonged: with the Parks and Recreation Commission.
He was merely correcting an error made by our last Town Board for purely political reasons and conforming to existing town law. The Town Board’s involvement in this project under present law should have ended when it approved the funding.
The commission has been reviewing plans for this project and developed the bid specification over many months, gathering input from all our citizens. We have, as members of our outstanding commission, both Democrats and Republicans. I could not tell you who they are and you would not know, because we act as Yorktowners first and foremost. Yes, we disagree on things, never for political reasons, but we talk it out and final decisions end with a consensus and good solutions for our residents.
Our commissioners are true public servants. They include a senior park professional with many years of experience in Westchester County; an expert in town finances; an expert in town codes and regulations; and a construction expert who oversaw some of the largest construction projects in New York City. Then there is our youngest member, who is an assistant parks superintendent for a neighboring town. And, of course, our own very capable parks department heads.
We also have me, the owner of a heavy marine equipment and naval architect company experienced in contract negotiations with some of the largest companies in the United States.
Now, you may think going to the meeting was a waste of time because all of this never came up. Well, on the contrary, because I really got to see firsthand how a few in our community would rather be politicians than public servants. It was a good example to me why, more than 40 years ago, some very smart people formed our commission to keep politics out of the parks system. The bulk of the Town Board meeting was on a subject that caused a heated, extended debate. The subject: “sanctuary town.”
Now, consider the way it was done. The resolution was inserted into a meeting agenda at the 11th hour because the goal was not to arrive at a consensus and a good solution, but rather to try and embarrass and make a political statement. If done honestly, to affect the desired end result for our town, the board would have discussed it in a work session and put it in language all could have agreed upon. Passing it then would have been a no-brainer. That, however, would not have gotten the desired press for individuals who think they need to divide us to remain in power or run for higher office and just look to disrupt a newly elected board.
Hopefully, public service will replace politics so our Town Board can move forward to represent and unite all of us.