Mr. Lyons, please stand up and earn our respect

To the Editor:

Every time I read Berne Supervisor Sean Lyons’s email responses in The Enterprise or watch him at a town board meeting, all I see is the Wizard of Oz. However, instead of a benevolent little man behind the curtain, there is a malevolent disbarred attorney and a bully behind the emails and another malevolent $400-an-hour attorney controlling the Zoom meetings and residents’ ability to speak.

Why is it that Mr. Lyons refuses to speak with or answer questions to The Altamont Enterprise or Berne residents? Why is it that he will only respond via email?

Sadly, the only conclusion that one can come to is that he is simply the wizard on the throne and all of the decisions, lies, bullying, and answers are written for him. For all Mr. Lyons’s weaknesses as town supervisor, I have never seen him bully anyone publicly at a town board meeting.

Yet his email responses are nothing but bullying, lies, personal attacks, obfuscation, and misrepresentations of the facts and these are particularly aimed at town board member Joel Willsey. Why only Mr. Willsey — because he is the lone Democrat and the only one not endorsed by the GOP.

Consider just some of these actual facts from Mr. Lyons’s statements in his Aug. 13, 2020 letter to the Enterprise editor [“Mr. Willsey’s feelings are not facts no matter how much of a tantrum he throws”]. Mr. Lyons “states” that:

— “Since I have been in office, I have gone to great extent to ensure executive sessions have been in accordance with Public Officers Law” [“Committee on Open Government says: Berne executive sessions illegitimate,” The Altamont Enterprise, Aug. 13, 2020] Just because you say it doesn’t make it true and the Committee on Open Government said that your executive sessions were, in fact, illegal;

— “…a classic ad hominem attack of which Mr. Willsey should be deeply ashamed.” According to Merriam Webster dictionary, “ad hominem” is Latin; [adjective] appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect.” This is not an adjective used in everyday conversation but is used by attorneys. The only one who should be ashamed is Mr. Lyons for signing his name to a letter written by someone else that attacks a board member for speaking the truth;

— “Mr. Willsey’s feelings are not facts no matter how much of a tantrum he throws.” This was particularly offensive as it was nothing more than bullying, ridiculing, and trying to demean a town board member to try and obfuscate the truth of what occurred in illegal executive sessions; and

— “…there is no GOP majority on the Berne Town Board.” This is so ridiculous as to be insulting to Berne residents’ intelligence.  Only Mr. Willsey did not run on the Republican line and he is also the only current town board member who is continually attacked, ridiculed, investigated, shut out of decisions — all because he is a Democrat. Mr. Willsey is also the only one who is concerned about the town’s fiscal health, future, and the wellbeing of town residents during a pandemic with the highest unemployment since the Great Depression.

Why has Mr. Lyons refused to respond to the monthly and even weekly questions, over the past seven months, about Berne’s financial viability? Could it be that the attorneys and bullies who write his responses have no understanding of municipal budgeting or that they simply do not care? 

Berne residents do care and we are too smart to believe in the Wizard of Oz. Mr. Lyons, you are better than that. Please stand up, be honest, earn our respect, and do the job that you were elected to do.  

Barbara Crosier  

East Berne

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