LETTERS: Lysander demonstrates lack of transparency, motive and rationale

— To the editor:

During the Lysander town board meeting on July 30 there were several thoughts that I wanted to share but did not because of the intimidating and hostile environment. This was the first town board meeting I have attended; I was shocked at the circus like atmosphere.

Board members tone towards individuals during public comment was at times hostile. This threatening atmosphere limits the feedback from well intentioned members of the community. The lack of order during a public meeting was also astonishing; the unaddressed outbursts of meeting attendees stokes the intimidating atmosphere and contributes to the perception of Lysander town government being a soap opera.

At the July 30 meeting, the town board proposed a referendum on changing the town clerk and highway superintendent to appointed positions. Very little was provided in the way of explanation on this move. The lack of a narrative explaining a rationale for this change was surprising and unwelcomed. The lack of detail gives the impression of backroom government that continues to erode public confidence.

I would like to note that several individuals made the point that an Aug. 13 meeting was abrupt and did not allow sufficient time for the community to discuss and absorb the issue. One person making these statements was Eugene Dinsmore, the current highway superintendent. With the highway superintendent in the dark about the board’s intentions on the shift in his position, I assume the majority of the community is equally in the dark on the issue and intent.

When the time for public comment arose, Supervisor John Salisbury restricted any discussion on the issue of appointments stating that the referendum would provide opportunity for questions and comment. With just a few short sentences on the rationale of this substantial request, John Salisbury decided that the public needed no more information. The public is given only the opportunity to discuss this removal of voting rights at meeting two weeks away.

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