Posted by: Dawn Powell | December 3, 2015

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck…

quacks were like a duck..

So was it a meeting, and were there reasons to believe it was a meeting?  Town property is not county property, is not state property, is not district property.  For a state representative to use Town Hall, she would need to ask permission.  Of course, that permission would be granted, but one might assume that the state representative is a guest of the Town Board.  There might, or perhaps should be a procedure for use of a town property for other branches of government, or perhaps they could just come as guests of the Town Board.

Is there another procedure?  Was there a vote to allow Senator Serino to use a town facility for her non-conversation?  Or was it merely scheduled sort of as agenda would be for a town meeting?  It was not announced by the usual methods, but it was announced by several mechanisms, and it was announced publicly, without any restrictions as to who was allowed to attend.  So that means that it was a public meeting on public property, not just attended by Town Board members.  They were not in the audience with the rest of the townsfolk; they were on the dais.  Sitting up on the dais gives the impression of some official capacity, even if they were unclear about their official capacity.  Perhaps that is because it was more political than official, but that would then create even more problems for all of them.

So then, can we assume that we have a public meeting?  Senator Serino has a local office.  She can talk to any residents there without any concern about their discomfort with videotaping.  Why would she even schedule a public meeting to talk to residents without scheduling videotaping for the rest of us, especially since this lone meeting to talk to us was at such a difficult hour for many, right after a holiday weekend?  That would have headed off any fear that an individual might edit the videotape unfavorably.  The official tape would have tv time, and streaming media, and Senator Serino could have posted that tape herself.  Videotape has become a powerful tool in our culture.

The reality is that Senator Serino had already spoken to counsel about shutting down public scrutiny.  She never named her counsel, but clearly, it was already her intention to shut out the public.  And she had the deputy present to “bounce” undesirables.  She had a man shunned from a public meeting.  Really???

She, presumably, has bullet points put out by a local pol on a facebook page, and she thinks that is better than open and honest communication? She says that she is all about transparency, but she continued her non-conversation as if she hadn’t just abused her office, and misused the deputy’s office to keep the public out of a meeting in our building.

Senator Serino’s job is to make the rules about public meetings, use of public space, open meetings, in other words, the laws she so cavalierly broke.

 


Responses

  1. I am surprised that no one seems to want to hold PV Councilwoman Jackie Annabi accountable for her many mistakes and errors in judgement during this whole debacle. Senator Serino’s behavior and attitude was glaringly bad. If nothing else, under the best possible circumstances, it is in poor form to shut down a constituent. In this case, the Senator essentially violated NY State Open Meetings Law and demonstrated her total disregard for the public and a transparent, public process.

    When asked by the Sheriff’s Deputy if he was correct when he stated that the meeting was for Putnam Valley resident’s only, Jackie says something about the Putnam Valley Board (at 1:58 in the video. It’s not audible in its entirety which is one of the advantages of speaking very fast) and then seems to state that the meeting was for Putnam Valley and Garrison. Did she think that the “guest” at the meeting was a County Legislator? Because the Putnam County Legislative District 1 includes a portion of Putnam Valley and Garrison. The Legislator of District 1 in the Putnam County is Barbara Scuccimarra. Did Jackie forget who was having the community meeting? Or was she just confused? Steve Mackay can be seen nodding in agreement and he seems to say that the meeting was only for Putnam Valley and Garrison residents. Was he confused too? Do women in government all look the same to these two or were they simply confused?

    Then Jackie speaks for the Town of Putnam Valley. At 2:09 in the video she says, “We are asking you… as the Town of Putnam Valley…” Then at 2:19, referring to the Senator, Jackie says, “She is a guest here in Putnam Valley…” If the Senator is a ‘guest’, who invited her? Jackie seems to be speaking for the town, so one can safely presume that if indeed the Senator was invited, she was invited by the Town.

    Why, by the way, is Jackie speaking for the Town?

    Shouldn’t they know better? Shouldn’t we?


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