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Letter to the Editor: Disappointed By Public Comment Limitations

Resident expresses frustration with amended bylaws.

The following is a Letter to the Editor submitted by Debbie O'Neill, a Bloomingdale resident.

Dear Editor,

To say I was disheartened and disappointed with the turn of events at meeting would be a gross understatement.  

Since, shockingly, the motion to amend the bylaws banning the public from engaging the council in dialog passed, my question to you now is, what plan do you have for providing the public with an opportunity to dialog with you? Are you going to have monthly town hall meetings in which the public may come before you and have open, unlimited dialog, should they choose to do so, since this will no longer be allowed during the town council meetings?

Just for the record, Mayor Dunleavy, I was proud of you last night– you passionately represented (or tried to) the interest of those you serve. Thank you for that; I respect and admire you. I sincerely hope that Councilwomen Huntley, Pituch and Shortman will follow your shining example of leadership and begin putting the needs of the community they serve over their petty, bitter need to grind their ax. And I wish we could put an end to the constant references as to what past administrations have done. We need to be moving forward and we cannot do that when some of you are forever trying to bash prior mayors and council members.

A very obvious example of that is this issue with the contracts. There is clearly no real value to the community to pursue this, as Mayor Dunleavy very professionally and eloquently pointed out. Yet, Councilwomen Huntley, Pituch and Shortman have a pathetic need to use this issue to try to discredit a prior administration. If by pursuing this witch hunt you are only adding a financial burden in the form of litigation costs to the borough and not gaining anything by it, then please help me understand why you continue to push the issue? I would much rather see the time you wasted arguing this issue, Councilwoman Huntley, given back to the public dialog.

In a last-ditch effort to appeal to Councilwomen Huntley, Shortman, and Pituch, I would ask you to (independently and separately) think long and hard about why you ran for office. Think about whether you truly wish to serve the community or your own agendas. Because what I have been seeing concerns me greatly about your motives. I am sure you are all capable of serving the community in a fair, impartial, and intelligent manner. Please begin to do so. Please stop your political machinations –they serve no one, and frankly, they discredit you and our town.

Thank you for your attention. Please provide me with feedback regarding my question regarding a monthly Town Hall meeting, etc. Perhaps it is something that can be added to an upcoming meeting agenda.

Debbie O’Neill

Debbie O'Neill May 13, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Thank you Karen; I sincerely hope that the voters send a strong message in November!
Meredith Mascitello May 13, 2011 at 07:42 PM
This why the Tea Party got started. It's not about Republican or Democrat. Government at all levels - in both parties - has stopped listening to the people who give them power. They may have limited our voice at Council meetings, but there are many ways for our voices to be heard. It is encouraging to see more people engaged. One reason things have gotten out of control is that most of us stopped paying attention. If these are the rules they want to play by, then Jonathan needs to make sure they are playing by their own rules and call them out of order everytime they engage with a resident who is speaking. If they interrupt you while you are speaking, ask for that time to be added back to your 5 minutes. Great letter, Debbie.
Carolyn May 25, 2011 at 05:55 PM
One tenet of Conservative philosophy with which all Americans agree is that the Constitution is the foundation of our Nation and must be observed and respected. In the observance of the Constitution and the Rule of Law lies the greatness of this Nation. However, on the Bloomingdale Council, Linda Huntley and her followers have rewritten the Constitution, interpreting free speech as something which should take place, but not too much and not too often and only when the few of them deem it to be proper. Huntley and her followers, apparently disagree with our Founding Fathers and scores of Supreme Court Justices, both Republican and Democrat, who believe that one of the sacred tenets of our Country is Freedom of Speech. I studied Constitutional Law in Law School and argued a number of Constitutional issues before the Courts of New Jersey. However I really learned about Freedom of Speech at age six on the streets of Newark from my friend Joey. Joey said "Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me" Bravo to Mayor Dunleavy for standing WITH the people of Bloomingdale. Perhaps Linda Huntley and the Bloomingdale Council should find Joey. Joey at age six seems to have understood the Constitution far better than Huntley and her fellow Council members do now. Sheldon Bross
Debbie O'Neill May 25, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Bravo Sheldon! May I suggest that you submit this to the Editor of the Patch (Arianna Cohen) to appear as a Letter to the Editor and also to the Suburban Trends?
Carolyn May 25, 2011 at 07:26 PM
good idea

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