At a Closer Look, Arguments By Lachterman’s Critics Are Rather Thin

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In listening to my neighbors in Yorktown, there are five items that continually come up – contributions to political campaigns, ethics, development, infrastructure and one-party rule.

Let’s take them in order.

Contributions to political campaigns. Contributions to political campaigns have been made in our nation, state, county and town since their inception. Fortunately, in New York, candidates must register with the state and must also list their contributors.

In the November election in Yorktown the candidates that were running against the incumbents complained that people and businesses doing business with the town were contributing to the incumbents’ election campaigns. However, perusal of the state’s election site disclosed that many of the same people and businesses were contributing to the wannabes as well. Hence, the ethics complaints of the wannabes were and are self-serving.

Ethics. It’s clear that a new ethics law in Yorktown is necessary. This issue has been raised for many years and blame is being placed on the political party now in the supervisor’s chair and controlling the board. When the other political party controlled the supervisor’s chair and board, the ethics law still wasn’t changed. The ethics law must be rewritten, and that process is already underway.

Development. The town’s needs have to be continuously evaluated. Although many people would like certain businesses to come to Yorktown, they cannot be ordered to do so. For example, at several Town Board meetings, speakers asked that Trader Joe’s be mandated to use existing vacant structures. Trader Joe’s said no and moved into a newly-built structure.

Underhill Farms was deteriorating with the main building boarded up. In order to rehabilitate and retain the main building along with the chapel, accommodations had to be made. The town did not and does not have the fiscal wherewithal to purchase or condemn the current site at fair market value.

Infrastructure. The town’s infrastructure is being rehabilitated as budget and revenue allows for. Fund balance allows major projects to be funded, for the most part, without borrowing money. Yes, our roads need additional work. Many roads in the town are state roads and are not property maintained by the state. Unfortunately, the one-party rule in Albany is decreasing its support for local roads and inexplicably schools.

One-party rule. This is an interesting item. Those complaining about one-party rule in Yorktown are fine with one-party rule in Albany. Perhaps the issue is not one-party rule but that the complainers are complaining about one particular party, and that their party is OK.

Part of the election process is electing qualified people. Those people who choose to run for office should spend some time examining how municipal government actually functions, and how it’s distinctly different from the private sector. Perhaps the individual running for supervisor against the incumbent should ask for a committee position and then run for the board.

Although the Town Board may not function as some may like, that does not equate to unethical or unlawful behavior. The citizens decided in November how they prefer the Town Board to function. Therefore, to continue this functionality, Deputy Supervisor Lachterman should be elected supervisor.

Jay Kopstein
Yorktown Heights

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