To quote a politician who was popular in the 1980s, “Well, there he goes again!” Jay Kopstein’s letter accuses a critic of the majority of the town board of inaccuracy, without stating what exactly was inaccurate. He states that he values open debate, yet he attacks those who have differing opinions of inaccuracy simply because it’s political season and he believes they are attacking simply to undermine the credibility of the current town Republican majority.
So let’s clarify the facts: The critic he is targeting, Susan Siegel, is not a candidate this year. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Ms. Siegel, she cannot be accused of having ulterior motives or getting some personal gain due to her decades-long activism. Having been a former member of the town board and supervisor should not disqualify her from voicing her opinion. She is, and has always been, an intelligent, well-researched, and diligent voice. I don’t know of any resident who has attended more town meetings on her own time.
Mr. Kopstein, on the other hand, knows how to talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. What specific accomplishments has he contributed in service to the public? In the past year, he has tried to diminish the voices of numerous legitimate activists by innuendo and outright falsehoods. He criticized a local newspaper for not identifying a letter-writer as the spouse of a candidate. In fact, that letter writer, my wife, has served the town for over 20 years as a member of the Community Housing Board. Her opinions are grounded in a sincere concern for the town. Then, Mr. Kopstein accused another activist and me, in a letter to the editor, as being “puppets” of Ms. Siegel. Believe me, we are quite independent thinkers.
Mr. Kopstein’s tactics bear a similarity to those used by Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. Guilt by association and characterizations of those with contrary views as mindless ideologues does not encourage honest dialogue. Hopefully, the informed residents of Yorktown will dismiss his attacks as unsubstantiated.
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