Anita works for the people and not the party, Peter’s greatest legacy will be safety

To the Editor:

Town Clerk Anita Clayton’s decision not to run for re-election is in my opinion very bad for the town and our residents. Anita provides an amazing service to our town and its residents by continually bending over backwards to accommodate everyone, regardless of party affiliation. 

Mr. Kevin Crosier [chairman of the Berne Democratic Committee] says his party is looking for someone who promotes transparency; well, Anita is the definition of transparency who works for the residents and the town board, not the current party chairman, its committee, or the town supervisor. 

Anita proved that she works for the people and not the party by continuing her duties in a professional manner when the newly elected board members and supervisor came on board.

Because of this professionalism, she was turned on by her so-called friends and party, she was ridiculed and cast out. Her tenure with the people and party meant nothing. Either denounce certain current board members or go away she was told; that is sad.

I fully expected Anita to run on her line in 2021 as a Democrat, unopposed. I would have rather run alongside her but either way I know she is one of the best at her job in the state and she will be missed by the residents and me.

Regarding the loss of my good friend [Peter Becker]. Pete was more than aware and extremely knowledgeable of the safe work practices, standard operating procedures, energy-isolation procedures, and proper cribbing for the equipment he worked and operated daily.

I agree 100 percent with the serious necessity of LOTO [lockout/tagout] training and procedures. I also know the inherent risk to maintaining heavy equipment; Peter knew this also, so no amount of prior paperwork would have changed the outcome of that day — it simply was a tragic accident.

But what happened that day to Peter will change how everything will be done in the future to prevent it occurring again and that will be Peter’s greatest legacy. I loved him like a brother and miss him every day.

I will work with Randy [Bashwinger, Berne’s highway superintendent], Ed [Hampton, Berne’s deputy highway superintendent] and the highway crew to ensure full compliance as laid out in the violations with the given timelines.

I agree these are serious violations so compliance with them is unquestionable. I have already asked the Public Employer Risk Management Association to work with Randy and me to complete a risk assessment of the current practices and procedures to ensure full compliance with all state and federal workplace safety regulations and guidelines now and in the future.

Sean Lyons



Editor’s note: See related stories.


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