So what a night, June 4th, 2012 at the local Port Chester Board of Trustees meeting, the headlines today in all the media outlets were only calling attention to the first appointment on the agenda, the appointment of the .
Now I understand that a headline will sell newspapers or attract readers, however the full story must not only be acknowledged but reported. So let’s look at the “surprise support,” “public witnessed quite a show” and the “uproar” as to what do they all mean. Then we will look at the hypocrisy of some of the players.
The media and the gadflies seem to be pre-occupied with “counting noses” before the Village Board meetings once the agenda is out. Why? Maybe it is intellectual sport or an attempt to create interest where none was before. The news articles or “breaking news” alerts are just that, advertising for an audience that may show up and attend if the smell of the controversy is in the air or water (for the sharks). The media stirs interest, does the motion have four votes, the simple required majority? And, who is going to be the flip to make the majority?
Of all of the BOT members, I should be the least likely to be predictable on which to be depend upon when the vote occurs on any issue. I ran for Trustee of this wonderful Village and was the one who came in first of 13 candidates under a new voting system and I ran as an independent.
So looking at my legislative record, I went down this year 6-1 on scofflaws. I have been calling for an amnesty law, certificate of occupancy law, guidelines for code prosecutors, new noise standards, abolishing the DARE program and seeking State Legislation on quotas for Group Homes in our community, none of which has resulted in any movement because Mayor Pilla buries my requests because he opposes all of these initiatives.
Just at this last meeting Mayor Pilla again did the “Two Step Soft Shoe” again when I asked what happened to my request for a resolution to schedule a Public Hearing to repeal the water downed regulations of our entertainment laws passed in 2009 and amended in 2010. Frustrating? Yes! Under reported? Yes again!
Is the Mayor pandering to special interests? Absolutely! None of these items get the attention of the media, in my opinion as the Mayor gets special treatment because he either gives unprecedented access or pre-written copy to the media. I don’t know which but even worse would be if he uses the threat of no access if he does not like the reporting being done on these various issues.
My word to the press, interview the people of Port Chester if you want to forecast my vote and not the gadflies or publishers that regularly attend the meetings. I come to each and every meeting armed with information, opinions gathered amongst those I trust and believe in my service to the community and ready to listen and participate in the debate. Then and only then do I make my decisions, which is when the vote is called.
Now let’s turn to the hypocrisy that did not get covered.
The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform; pretense.
Synonyms: dissimulation - double-dealing – insincerity
As for the first scheduled appointment -
Dan Brakewood – The indecency of the public spectacle of verifying the connection, availability and openness of a fellow Trustee and his home to try and gain a political advantage is bad enough, but when you choose this path to take, considering the health of your fellow Trustee is less than humane treatment.
In the past the Village has noticed BOT meetings that I would attend via Skype, as I was out of the area and had specific knowledge on the subject of the meeting. At the time of the meeting due to technology limitations and a lack of bandwidth, I was not able to make the connection, but we have tried this in the past as a Village and I would expect it to happen again. We should not dismiss or challenge technology.
Dennis Pilla – To not only allow but enhance the side show of comments from public members with a confrontational history of the person who is subject of the appointment, but to fail to take all reasonable steps before the comments of Dan Brakewood to insure that everything was being done correctly. The Mayor could have, due to the close proximity of Austin Place, arranged with a person from the clerk’s office to be an on-site arbiter to insure Village and Trustee compliance with the Open Meetings Guidelines of NYS. Did Mayor Pilla do anything to do it right? No!
John Branca – To insist and then argue to his Right to being part of this spectacle during this most difficult time of his life is the most inhumane thing that I think someone could perpetuate upon themselves in the name of Elected Public Service. It’s not like Trustee Branca showed up, or Skype’d in for the budget vote that affected every property owner of our Village. We are not US Senators like Kennedy to be wheeled in for a vote that would affect every person in the United States. I hope I am not around to see this injustice ever happen again.
But let’s not quit here, there is appointment number 2, the Deputy Mayor – call it sour grapes, I don’t care.
Brakewood & Pilla – This is the most under reported event of the night. Two weeks earlier I was railed against by these two men because I am “not on the same wavelength” as the Mayor on the issues. Hypocrisy does not even to begin to characterize this vote by Brakewood and Pilla for Trustee Marino as Deputy Mayor, when just at the prior vote, Marino voted to approve Morabito as Village Clerk! The issue of the evening that was so important enough for Carolee Brakewood and others to leave there homes and challenge the availability of the meeting at Trustee Branca’s home.
Now if this does not rise to the level of “not on the same wavelength” I don’t know what does!
Luis Marino – Now I stand by my vote and the vote of the Board, 6-1 for Luis Marino as Deputy Mayor, but I ask, how can any of the members of the Board vote for Luis when he himself voted against himself for the very same position at our very last meeting?
At this point of writing this blog post, I don’t understand how anybody could be surprised at anything that happens at a Port Chester Board of Trustee meeting under the direction of Mayor Dennis Pilla. I am now wondering what comes after hypocrisy……