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An open letter to Bethel Supervisor Dan Sturm

October 30, 2013

Dear Supervisor Sturm:

I just read the beautiful write-up in The River Reporter in print and online about the new park and conservation easement in Smallwood. The reporter did what you failed to do and duly recognized the citizen’s group, Preserve Smallwood Country Life (PSCL) and its leader, Jonathan Hyman, for their undeniably enormous role in the project. Let there be no mistake, there would not be a Forest Reserve in Smallwood today without Jonathan’s leadership and the hard work he and his group engaged in selflessly over many, many years. Everyone familiar with the project knows this and considers your failure to publicly recognize both PSCL and Jonathan particularly curious and, frankly, counterproductive to your own political interests. Why you would not embrace the work you did with a successful and well organized citizens’ organization is lost on many people. Your blatant attempt to rewrite the history of the long public struggle over the golf course property is petty, small-minded and insensitive to the 250 members of PSCL and those who supported their efforts.

The fact that you never responded to my letter prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony urging you to reconsider your edict that neither PSCL nor Jonathan Hyman was to participate in the ceremony, or be mentioned in any meaningful way, was discourteous to me as a taxpayer and voter in the town of Bethel. I will remember your lack of courtesy at the polls on November 5.

Cynthia M. L. Taylor
Smallwood, NY