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From the Publisher: Ol’ Burdock left Manlius a better place

— But when a public official did something he deemed worthy of praise, he was the first to publicly applaud. Consider this note, from July 30, 1997, in which he commends Manlius Supervisor Dick Lowenberg, with whom he frequently sparred.

“I came away proud of my town board last night … Great! I am very happy to know that the Duguid Road homeowners are not disenfranchised. As long as the town board or any other governmental body represents their constituents fairly and equally applies the law to all, the Ol’ Burdock will stay at home just minding his weed patch. Dick Lowenberg and his people deserve a paean of praise.”

Hamilton took on all comers, from all corners of the town and beyond. He looked for injustice, whether it was in his backyard or across town, and when he believed he found it, he spoke his mind firmly. And he doggedly worked to protect the community he loved from overdevelopment.

Times have changed. Now, more people chime in on local issues, but they do so from the privacy of their homes, and they hide their criticisms behind screen names. On everything he authored, Hamilton put not only his name, but also his well-chosen moniker.

Communities are stronger when there are self-appointed watchdogs like Hamilton, keeping not only their government but also the media that covers it on its toes. I’ll miss the Ol’ Burdock, and so will the town of Manlius.

David Tyler is the publisher of the Eagle Bulletin. He can be reached at dtyler@eaglenewsonline.com or at 434-8889 ext. 302.

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