The ‘Rules of Engagement’ as created… and sometimes applied by the Mayor | April 26, 2007

The ‘Rules of Engagement’ as created… and sometimes applied by the Mayor (April 26, 2007)

Not long after the advent of the McFadden administration, the Mayor introduced a set of rules governing what was described as public conduct at BOT meetings, which ranged from where the participants should speak, when they may speak, for how long , and what they could /could not say. The latter specifically forbade any sort of personal abuse and/or disrespectful/discourteous language or behavior directed towards the Mayor or any or all of the Trustees. In the succeeding months, the Mayor has shown no hesitation in wielding the gavel to silence some residents who have offered critical comment on some aspects of the administration’s agenda… and, on more than one occasion, he has even threatened to have participants ejected.

However, it is apparent that the Mayor’s application of the rules that he invented is very discriminatory and in those instances where the Mayor promotes or supports the subject under discussion, the rules are at best overlooked and the incumbent at the podium is given unrestricted license to say what he/she likes, abusive or otherwise, for as long as he/she wants, without restriction.

The worst example of this occurred at the March 21 BOT meeting. You will probably know that in a totally democratic vote at the February 21 BOT meeting, the Mayor’s proposals to implement a Stop Work Order, and to rescind a previously BOT approved dock permit for the Tuxedo Club were defeated. The record shows that the dissenting votes came from Messrs Parker, Stebbins, and Darby, whom the Mayor accused of “collusion”. At the March meeting, Geoffrey Isles took the podium and what followed was the most disgraceful, abusive, disrespectful and slanderous diatribe on the dock issues, aimed specifically at Messrs Parker, Stebbins and Darby. Despite demands from several residents present at the meeting, including former trustee Nancy Hays, for the Mayor to terminate Isles’ disgusting outburst, he chose to take no action. Many people present at the meeting were shocked at the shameful performance from Isles and more so that the Mayor condoned it.

On the same subject of the docks, you will have seen on the ‘Mayor’s Blog’ and his reelection website, evidence of the Mayor’s efforts to inflate the issue, which has its foundation in the views of some disgruntled residents. Geoffrey Isles and a group called Citizens to Preserve Tuxedo Lake has now instituted legal action AGAINST the Village AND the Club and from the various writings of the Mayor on both websites, there is a clear impression that he supports, even promotes such action. The Mayor needs to better define his position and if he is supportive of the legal action that has been filed against the Village and the Club, he is clearly not fit to lead our Board. Put bluntly, the last thing that the Village needs is even more costly legal action. You may not know, but at the BOT meeting of 3/21, CFO Hansen advised that legal expenses of $109,000 had been incurred this year to date and that this figure would rise to an estimated $130,000 by the end of the fiscal year. (See previous article Legal expenses Continue to Grow.) A goodly portion of these costs could have been avoided. Legal matters in this fiscal year included the Sterling Place lawsuit, the Tuxedo Lake Dam, the Tuxedo Park Police investigation, the Lindsay/Regna lawsuit, “General Legal Services” and now the Tuxedo Club docks. In previous administrations, annual legal costs have averaged less than $25,000……..and just remember, these are YOUR tax dollars that are being poured down the drain.

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