Residents have a right and duty to speak out

To the Editor:

June Springer’s letter in last week’s Enterprise was off the mark concerning disrespectful and angry vocal participants at Knox Town Board meetings. 

I have attended most of the meetings during the last two years and I have not witnessed angry or disrespectful town residents at these meetings. Nor have I witnessed any mistruths and/or false allegations in any of the Enterprise’s articles or letters to the editor regarding issues discussed at town board meetings. 

Yes, some folks have been vocal over various issues that have been raised during that time, but do not confuse vocal, and sometimes forcefully so, with anger or disrespect. 

I have witnessed more disrespect from the town supervisor than from anyone else during that time. 

The illegal firing of the two transfer-station employees on Jan. 1, 2019 and not reinstating them until several months later was definitely an act of disrespect by the town supervisor, especially in light of the fact that he was well aware of the illegality at the January 2019 town board meeting. He could have resolved that issue by reinstating them at that time. 

Then there was the issue of proposing to establish an ill-advised business district near the intersection of routes 156 and 157. When it was apparent that the proposal was going to be voted down, the supervisor withdrew it.

He then proposed to have an MRD [multi-use residential district] established for that area. At the September 2019 town board meeting, he refused to have a vote on this proposal because the 

town attorney was not present although a vote could have been taken without his presence. 

This issue has dragged on for almost two years because of the town supervisor. Residents who will be most affected by this issue have spoken out multiple times in disfavor of the proposals.

Disrespect? Perhaps, but more so from the town supervisor than any from anyone else. 

His failure to timely file the annual financial reports was of his own doing and he was rightly questioned and criticized for that. Again, that did not result in expressions of anger or disrespect by town residents. 

The fact that he was elected by a majority of the voters does not mean that he has a free ride as town supervisor. Residents absolutely have a right and a duty to stand up and speak out at town board meetings when actions of the supervisor appear to be or are remiss. 

Ed Nicholson


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