I posted the below message on Facebook yesterday. The outpouring of support has been remarkable. Encouraging statements have come from family, friends, supporters, and folks who are simply fed-up with village politics. This week is certainly not a high point for transparency in local government. The residents of Ossining deserve better. I am grateful to be connecting with so many community members, and look forward to building a more open, responsive and engaging relationship between village officials and the public.
Last night it was alleged that ethics charges have been filed against me. This action serves only to reinforce my dedication to becoming a mayor who reaches out to the community, encouraging transparency and public engagement.
I have not yet seen the “ethics charges” referenced during last night’s publicly televised Board of Trustees meeting. However, other village employees have. Trustee Bob Daraio stated that “ethics charges” impacted his vote to support granting preferred developer status for 200 Main Street to Interoceanic Corporation.
No effort was made to obtain my response to this allegation, or even inform me of the charge before publicly revealing it as a pretext to discredit both my husband’s business, Sing Sing Kill Brewery, and myself. The village struggled to locate the said email and could not even provide me with a copy of it.
Does it seem fair and transparent that a trustee referenced “ethics charges” when casting a vote, while I am the accused and I have not even seen them? Did all the voting members of the board have access to that same information when they cast their votes? The vote itself was tainted, and such an important decision on a key property should have been tabled pending resolution of the issue—particularly given that the source of the alleged complaint is Daniel V. Remer, a supporter of my opponent.
This bullying tactic is consistent with the current administration’s practice of stifling public comments.
My public statements regarding 200 Main Street were made with complete disclosure that I am a Village Trustee and a Candidate for Mayor, and that I have recused myself from all deliberations and decision-making regarding the village-owned property because my husband is an interested party. The article I wrote in the Patch provided information and encouraged public engagement about a flagship property whose future will dramatically impact the vibrancy of our downtown economy. I was heartened by the thoughtful and respectful public response that resulted.
Being an elected official does not mean I give up my first amendment right to free speech as a resident of this great nation. Is expressing an opinion, while being completely open about my position in the village and in relation to the subject of discussion, unethical?
I have done nothing wrong. I am troubled by the timing of these allegations.
I am grateful for the outpouring of support I have already received from friends and community members who recognize this tactic for what it is—bullying designed to discredit a candidate who seeks transparency and public engagement.