Sullivan Legislature thwarts public input on issues and more

Letters to the editor June 11 to 17

Posted 6/10/20

Letters to the editor June 11 to 17

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Sullivan Legislature thwarts public input on issues and more

Letters to the editor June 11 to 17

Posted

Regarding Martucci and the NYS Bail Elimination Law

Michael Martucci issued a press release calling for the suspension of New York State’s Bail Elimination Law so all those ‘rioting criminals’ can be kept off our streets during current demonstrations. Like President Trump, Mr. Martucci seems to want to pour gasoline on the fires raging in our country. We don’t need his distortions and innuendoes.

What are his distortions?

The demonstrators are overwhelmingly peaceful. Some even discourage any destructive behavior in order to preserve the serious focus on ending police violence against people of color. (There is some evidence that the agitators are white supremacists.) People like Mr. Martucci focus on vandalism in order to obscure the real point: the need for equal justice and decency for people of color.

What are his innuendoes?

Mr. Martucci implies that Sen. Jen Metzger and others are somehow responsible for the criminal behavior on our streets. This will not help his campaign to replace Metzger in the New York State Senate because people are tired of such divisive techniques.

Suggesting that Metzger is some far-left extremist flies in the face of the very real and down-to-earth efforts she has dedicated her public service to. During her first legislative session, Jen Metzger introduced 87 bills and 75 percent passed with bipartisan support. Metzger is definitely not a left-winger!

Quoting Shakespeare, Mr. Martucci is “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Doris Chorny
Gardiner, NY

‘The Frisk and Fleece Force’

Here come some police over-reach that breeds/seeds an unjust breach of racialist deeds

A state itch for a gun-lynch, and a court pitch in favor of some blue public pinch-mobs

A clop-clan that throws bullets over the lowest neck of a branch of a free man in brown-skin

While our courts clutch their crutch, agree to deem the murderer/police innocent, and free

The shoot-‘em-dead shooter in an unprovoked killing of a son, a father, a husband, brother,

Uncle, nephew, cousin, groom-to-be, for citizenshipping in America attired in African, after all

He’s just a dark buck living in a bull’s-eye skin in a system that will strip a man of his justice/life

A hundred times a day, a city, state, USA, leave to slaughter at point-black any man, boy, child

For birthing into American-brown, for just trying to live fleece-free in the sun, intact, in liberty.

Poem by Tracey Gass Ranze ©
Milanville, PA

Sullivan Legislature thwarts public input on issues

The Sullivan County Legislature has found a way to greatly restrict public participation and input in county online meetings by using the county’s “live stream” system, rather than Zoom or other interactive programs that allow live comments and input from the public as the meeting progresses. Participants have no way to make comments or interact in discussions in “real-time.” All comments must be submitted in writing in advance, often with no agenda items available. All county committee meetings, where participants used to be able to hear discussion of agenda issues, remain canceled, so that avenue of information no longer exists. There is little or no summary of what might have been discussed in executive and legislature regular meetings before voting is called and gaveled through at lightning speed. This is not an acceptable way to conduct government business or ensure the people’s right to know. But it seems this sort of behind closed doors, political machinations suit some political operators quite well.

A case in point is the continuing questionable status of Judge Michael McGuire, whose appointment was a surprise announcement at a quietly called special meeting in or about late March. After months of protests over revelations that he was unsuitable to be Sullivan County Attorney, with public demands that county legislators reconsider and recall his appointment, the now ex-Judge McGuire remains the anointed choice for county attorney, supported and sustained by a solid five-man majority of a hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, speak-no-evil cabal of county legislators. In another example of the erosion of open government practices, legislative chairman Robert Doherty exercised his prerogative to unilaterally cancel the reading of any public comments at the May 12 county legislature regular meeting.

As long as they remain cloistered behind an electronic wall of silence, some legislators can continue to blatantly disregard the ground swell of protest against their benighted appointment of Judge McGuire as county attorney, and ignore other issues of public concern that affect the quality of life of Sullivan County residents. Incursions like this nefarious attempt to stymied public input erode the fabric of open government, and make us recognize how fortunate we are to have Sullivan County Director of Communications Dan Hust (when permitted by chairman Doherty) reading submitted public comments with the urgency, inflection and intensity the writers’ of these comments wish to convey. It is time to stop the political cronyism and start acting on behalf of the governed.

Star D. Hesse
Narrowsburg, NY

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