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'I Dislike' Politics, Councilman Says at Final Meeting

Glenn Schiffman said he is disgusted by public name-calling of elected officials in his final remarks as a Bloomingdale councilman.

Bloomingdale Councilman Glenn Schiffman had some parting words for the public as he said goodbye to the council during Tuesday night's meeting: be nice to your elected officials on the Internet.

"In three years, I learned a lot about politics and what it's about," Schiffman said. "To tell you the truth, I dislike it."

Schiffman, who served for three years on the council, did not run for re-election in November as his term was expiring. He and Councilwoman Jo-Ann Pituch were to be honored at the meeting, but Pituch had an emergency obligation that prevented her from attending, Mayor Jonathan Dunleavy said.

Dunleavy remarked that he was planning to honor Schiffman with a plaque Tuesday, but that Schiffman requested not to have one. Still, Dunleavy said that despite he, a Democrat, and Schiffman, a Republican, not always agreeing in the council chambers, Schiffman will be missed.

"As a friend I thank you, as a mayor I thank you for your three years of hard work," Dunleavy said.

When asked if he would like to comment, Schiffman took the opportunity to describe his disgust with his constituents' comments in Internet forums regarding the elected officials.

"If I were a person looking to buy a house in Bloomingdale and I read some of the things on this forum, I would run," he said.

Schiffman implored the public to at least attach their actual names to their comments, but said some commenters who consistently bash the council members should be "ashamed."

After the meeting, Schiffman said he has been lucky to have worked alongside the other council members, as well as Borough Clerk Jane McCarthy and Bloomingdale Police Chief Joe Borell. During his term, Schiffman said public safety was an important issue to him and he was pleased to have been able to make decisions regarding new police vehicles and equipment.

"We had to bring it back to where it had to be," he said.

paul bastante December 19, 2012 at 04:28 AM
The public only became this way due to the way they were treated during the council majority's tenure. Being one of the more vocal members of the "internet forums", I always use my name, and Glen, I never wrote one word about you at any time because I always thought you tried your best to do what you thought was right. Our problems with your counterparts on...and about to be former council members, is that they spit in the citizen's faces, at times refusing to speak to, or answer any questions, walking out of meetings and doing a generally terrible job of governing. Im sorry if you take offense to some of the things that were directed at them, but they had it coming. They DESERVED the negative attention they got with their antics and general disrespect. I say, instead of your idea of, be nice and respectful to your council person, it should be the other way around. It's a two way street. If you are going to take that shot on your way out the door and refuse to acknowledge the disrespect of your outgoing colleague in the same light, then Im pretty sure you just dont get it. That being said, I respectfully thank you for your service and giving yourself to the community for the last three years. Although we disagreed with you, I think most people respected you on the dais, enjoy your time away from politics and be well. Paul Bastante
Carolyn December 19, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I concur with most of Mr. Bastante's comments. I am also using my actual name and wish everyone would. I also want to thank Mr. Schiffman for serving on the Council and the Planning Board. I don't think he sat as a partisan on either Board. I have tried to compliment him before for doing what he believed in a courteous way, but was shot down by a member of his own majority. It's fine to disagree; it's not fine to disrespect others in the process. When a term of office begins by telling members of the public that they are dismissed from volunteer positions because they're "not with the political party in power", then you have a very disrespectful start that can only go downhill. When that escalates into telling others to "shut up", then all pretenses at working together in a civil way are gone. When, finally, the entire electorate and its wishes are ignored in an effort to subvert the election, all is lost. Therefore, I don't blame Mr. Schiffman for leaving and I recognize that he tried to do what he believed while remaining civil. And, to his credit, he never voted in lockstep! Let's hope those type of meetings that drove Mr. Schiffman away are now a thing of the past. For the sake of our children, let's move on and get to work. Thank you for your service, Mr. Schiffman!
Elaine Petrowski December 19, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Thanks for your service, Mr. Schiffman.
Theresa Merino December 19, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Yes. Thank you Mr. Schiffman.
Debbie O'Neill December 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I echo what Paul, Carolyn, and Elaine have said. I did not always agree with Mr. Schiffman's decisions, however I respect the fact that he always seemed to act and and make decisions based upon his own mind rather than blindly following his party. He asked questions and always seemed prepared for meetings. I never sensed that he bought into or played political games. Thank you, Mr. Schiffman, for your years of service.
Leeann Coleman December 19, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I have commented from time to time also on this forum. I find it an act of cowardice to post a comment with an alias. I have taught my children to stand up for what they believe in, to say what they mean and mean what they say. This also describes the kind of guy Glenn Schiffman is. He pulls no punches. He says what he means. I have had the pleasure of knowing him for almost two decades. He ran for town council not because he had agendas, but because he genuinely cares for the town he's spent his entire life in. Glenn - my hat is off to you! I could have never later three hours, never mind three years on the council. I cant even go to the meetings because i find them upsetting. Thanks for your service! Proud to be your neighbor on the lake, Leeann Coleman.

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