Setting The Record Straight  |  December 4, 2007

We at TPFYI have refrained from making any remarks on the material in the “Sunshine Report”; however the remarks and erroneous statements in the November Issue cannot go by without comment. We are therefore compelled to set the record straight.

David McFadden begins his report by implying that he was prohibited from reading his thank-you letter to Richie Morrow at Richie’s retirement party. In fact, Mr. McFadden was invited to Richie’s party as well as every other citizen in the Village, and several residents gave remarks. The fact is that he chose not to attend.

Mr. McFadden’s accusation that the BOT is withholding vital information from the public about the Garbage Contract is just absurd. If anyone had interest they could FOIL the Bid Documents. We elect our Village Officials to resolve “Garbage Contracts” and the like without having to seek “popular” opinion. The only complaints about the bid process were from the highest bidder and Mr. McFadden.

The same could be said about the Police Contract; it is the BOT’s responsibility to negotiate these contracts in the best interest of the Village - that is why we elect them. In fact, Mr. McFadden let the contracts lapse and so it is ludicrous that he is criticizing Mayor Stebbins who, in fact, is working diligently to make up for lost time.

Fact: On the issue of the Wee Wah Beach Club, Mayor Stebbins has made multiple requests for concerned residents to come forward with alternative suggestions for the property. None have been received. David McFadden is completely out of line to assert that “the last thing the Mayor wants to do is make any changes to the lease with the Wee Wah Beach Club”. We think the Mayor has been clear in his concern about taxpayer costs that potential changes could bring, but he remains open to suggestions.

John Ledwith was reappointed Village Tax Assessor by a 3 to 1 vote. John is sufficiently knowledgeable about property values in the Village and he is certified to be a tax assessor. We would like to know who specifically and in what context did someone in “the County” state that this was a “conflict of interest”, as Mr. McFadden claims. There has been some suggestion that the Village could use the Town’s Tax Assessor. He certainly would not do it for free. Greg Stevens’s salary as part time Tax Assessor for Tuxedo is $24,877 per annum. John Ledwith’s is $6,500.

Mr. McFadden certainly has a right to express his opinions; however, we at TPFYI believe that he should do so while maintaining a closer relationship with the facts.

Quite frankly it is presumptuous for the ex-mayor to claim that his administration was always transparent. See previous articles (So Much for Open Government 2/21/07 and Refusal to Recuse 4/27/06)

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