YORKTOWN, N.Y. — The Yorktown Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit a letter, email email@example.com
To the Editor:
Attention all citizens who value freedom of speech and the opportunity to speak at Town Board meetings!
The Yorktown Town Board has decided to further reduce public comment opportunities at board meetings.
This comes after the Board eliminated one of two public comment segments last year and moved the remaining public comment segment to the end of the meeting, this past January.
The Supervisor and the Board promised the public they had no intentions to eliminate public comment.
I remember Supervisor Michael Grace’s exact words from January 19.
"We want to hear what you have to say."
The public also would like to hear what the Board has to say at the un-televised, un-amplified work sessions.
The Board now intends to create a Quality of Life Committee as a substitute for public comment at Board meetings.
The idea of a Quality of Life Committee came up a few months ago in order to brainstorm solutions to issues such as dog waste, litter, smoking, etc., not to be a clearing house or extra layer of bureaucracy!
Councilman Bernard claimed he was joking when he said, “Does (the committee) mean we can do away with courtesy of the floor?”
Well, there is truth in humor and actions speak louder than words.
The facts are that since January 2016, the speakers at the podium have been respectful and the public comment sessions have not been lengthy, especially compared to 2015 meetings.
Many citizens prefer to speak during public comment at Board meetings, where there is a greater chance of recognition and solutions from the Board.
The Supervisor and the Board need to reaffirm their commitment to the preservation of public comment at Town Board meetings.
The public deserves to keep this direct avenue of communication with our elected officials.
Sincerely, Miriam Messing Curtin
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