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Letter: 'Peters Has Sunk to New Lows'

This letter to the editor was written by Yorktown resident David Humphrey. To submit your own letter to the editor, email JSwift@TheDailyYorktown.com.

To the Editor –

A recent mailing from Don Peters has prompted me to break my self-imposed rule about writing letters to the editor. As Executive Assistant to the Supervisor, I believe that my personal opinions must take a backseat to my official position. But this most recent mailing from Peters has sunk to new lows in attack ads with falsehoods and name calling.

THE CHARGE – “Town auction debacle – lost income, wasted dollars”

THE FACTS – The Town Board authorized the auction of 11 properties – 10 of which were foreclosures left languishing from Peters’ administration. Bids were received for all 11 before two members of the Board changed their mind and withdrew four parcels due to last minute pressure from area residents. Additionally, the buyer for the Bernstein property backed out after submitting a deposit (which he forfeited). Bottomline, the Town collected nearly $380,000 for six parcels that included two homes that are back on the tax roll. Hardly a debacle, certainly no “wasted dollars.”

THE CHARGE – “Unraveled consolidation – increased spending”

THE FACTS – Supervisor Siegel led a 4-1 Town Board vote to rescind the Director of Labor Operations position because it was consolidation done the wrong way and it was creating more problems than is was solving. The correct way to consolidate is to create a DPW headed by a professional engineer who is appointed and therefore accountable to the Town Board. That is NOT what was done. As for the claim of “increased spending,” Peters is no doubt referring to the added salary of the new Water Distribution Superintendent. The truth is that since he was hired, David Rambo, a qualified water professional, has corrected many problems and generated more than $200,000 in added revenue – more than twice as much as his salary. Plus, the safety and service of the Town’s water system have improved dramatically. No “wasted dollars” here – this was a win/win for the Town and its residents.

THE CHARGE – “No dog park – promises broken”

THE FACTS – Actually it was Peters’ administration that decided that the French Hill section of Trump Park was the site of choice to locate the long delayed dog park. Unfortunately he never addressed any of the insurance and safety liabilities of that site. While the dog park would only make use of one acre, NY State made the deal contingent on Yorktown assuming responsibility for the entire 153 acre site. Also, the one acre portion to be used for the dog park had numerous abandoned buildings and an empty in-ground swimming pool – safety liabilities that were problematic for the Town’s insurance carrier. Having addressed these concerns, the dog park has been mired in many months of approval red tape in Albany – not Yorktown.

THE CHARGE – “No Hallocks Mill sewers – promises broken”

THE FACTS – Yes this was a major issue in Susan’s campaign, and yes, approximately 1,000 Hallocks Mill homeowners are still unsewered, but it’s not from a lack of trying. Peters recently held a press conference and issued a press release stating that there has been “not one iota of action.” Nothing could be further from the truth, and just because Peters is ignorant of the multiple engineering studies and system diagnostics done since 2010 in an effort to get DEP to lift the moratorium is no excuse for such blatant lies. And throughout her term, Susan has kept the unsewered homeowners informed of the efforts on their behalf.

THE CHARGE – “No open, transparent government”

THE FACTS – I honestly have no idea what Peters could be referring to. The first month of Susan’s tenure she had all Town financial records posted online for all to view. Before she even took office, Susan requested an independent risk assessment of Town procedures and controls by the NY State Comptroller’s office and she released the full final audit report the very day it was received at Town Hall. Susan has offered to personally pay all expenses to televise Town Board work sessions – public meetings that very few residents ever see, where most of the Board’s discussions and debates take place. When the Board voted against her proposal, she launched “Ask the Supervisor,” an unscripted government channel show taped the day after work sessions in which she answers all questions put to her by various local reporters to explain what was discussed at the previous night’s meeting. Frankly, no other Supervisor before her has offered more transparency than Susan Siegel. True open government is more than an open door policy – by the way Mr. Peters, Susan does that as well.

THE NAME CALLING – “No clue Sue”

I’m sure Peters is very pleased with this nickname (look, it rhymes!) – you can tell because he repeats it over and over on his postcard. But, as I stated at the beginning, this mailing is all untruths and name calling – basically the bottom of the barrel in the world of politics. In all fairness, Susan has stated publicly many times that “Don is a nice guy.” It’s ironic that Don’s own actions here are proving her wrong about that.

David Humphrey

Yorktown Heights, NY

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