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Arts groups enhance communities

January 8, 2014

Referring to the homeowners he has so far kept from voting, Gary Maas, Cochecton town supervisor, was quoted in a local newspaper article “Votes Don’t Count” as saying community members’ “ties to the community were pretty weak” as most of their involvement has been with “arts groups.” As a member of arts organizations, an active participant in arts activities in Sullivan County and a long time resident of the Town of Cochecton, having lived, worked, and been born of several generations of Sullivan County residents, I was saddened and very disappointed that our town supervisor maintains such a narrow vision of what constitutes legitimate community involvement, discounting the extent to which the arts continue to enrich our lives and our community. I doubt Mr. Maas would make that judgment of other organizations, all of which combine to make up a community. Perhaps if Mr. Maas attended a local arts event, he would be surprised at the thousands of Sullivan County residents attending year after year, and he may even enjoy himself.

Robin McClernon
Cochecton, NY