Bashwinger and Palow are simply dangerous

To the Editor:
Dennis Palow and Randy Bashwinger are dangerous and unfit for office and I prove it here.

If you care about the safety of your family, friends, and town employees, you must read this letter and consider the very solid documentation I provide. Then please get out and vote for Peggy Christman and Barb Kennedy to address the hazards I document. Your vote for these ladies is essential for our community safety.

In 2018 and 2019, the Democratic town board majority recognized and documented that Berne’s highway department operations were dangerous and project results were defective. We proposed a reasonable, objective, independent evaluation of highway department operations to provide recommendations to improve project outcomes and safety. These objective recommendations were to be provided by an engineering consultant and stamped by a professional engineer.

But Supervisor [Sean] Lyons did not advertise the request for proposals and as a result no estimates were received. Then in the January 2020 regular meeting, Deputy Supervisor Palow made a motion to derail this board-approved highway department safety initiative.

He offered a motion that convinced his fellow GOP and GOP-endorsed board members to cancel the safety initiative, saying it would cost too much and he had gotten a free opinion from a professional organization. Neither statement was true as he later made clear in his February falsehoods.

First, he said the engineer’s evaluation would cost the town “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” That is not true, and this and the other falsehood helped convince the GOP-backed majority to cancel the initiative, depriving the public and employees of the benefits of that initiative. No estimates had even been requested and he had no basis for his claim whatsoever.

Second, Mr. Palow also claimed he had reached out to the Cornell Local Roads Program and that organization had provided a statement indicating there were no highway department safety issues in Berne. Not surprisingly, no documentation of his correspondence with that organization or that statement could be produced.

Then the official January 2020 meeting recording mysteriously disappeared! Unbeknownst to Mr. Palow, the meeting was recorded by a concerned resident.

Thinking there was no recording of his false statements from the January meeting, Mr. Palow, incredibly, then denied he had made those false statements at the February meeting.

Would you seriously consider voting for a candidate who would lie to derail a board-approved public and worker safety initiative and then lie about those lies? Remember, months later we had another very serious incident in the highway department — this one fatal.

Listen carefully to the posted recordings. First, Mr. Palow’s January 2020 rationale to derail the board-approved safety initiative:

“I don’t think we need to bring in an engineer and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for … for them to tell Randy how our roads need to be. I mean, he has Cornell; I’ve reached out to Cornell, and they said to me that there is nothing wrong with the safety of our roads.”

Now listen to the other recording with the false statements Mr. Palow made at the February 2020 meeting to misrepresent his January false statements. He clearly assumed there was no recording:

Palow: “All right so last month when this got brought up at the town board meeting, what I actually said was, we could get Cornell here to look at our roads to see if they are safe. And I said it may cost — probably cost — hundreds of thousands of dollars. I did not say —

Willsey:“That’s not what you said.”

Palow:“I did not say it would cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars, I said ‘probably.’”

Willsey:“There is no official tape of that meeting, but I do have a tape —”

Palow:“Can I finish?”

Willsey:“Well, you should tell the truth if you are going to speak.”

If elected supervisor, Mr. Palow will be responsible for the safety of Berne employees and residents, and he will be the chief financial officer. In my opinion, these audio clips clearly illustrate that Mr. Palow cannot be trusted with important public and employee safety decisions or decisions regarding the spending of your tax dollars.

I think the posted PDFs solidly document Mr. Bashwinger’s very negligent, dangerous operations that continue to this day due to Mr Palow’s dishonest motion. Safety standards mandated by Vehicle and Traffic Law were totally ignored on the very recent Bush Drive Project.

Look at the PDF attached and the Enterprise article. No signs, no drums, no flaggers, no work-zone safety measures at all! And a dangerous, defective project resulted.  

Look at the Bridge Road Incident PDF also provided. The highway was not closed and a woman ended up in the bottom of an excavation. See the Enterprise article.  

Look at the Enterprise article documenting all the safety violations at the highway garage (identified by state investigators after the fatality). Bashwinger and Palow are simply dangerous.

Then think about it: Mr. Palow derailed a board-approved safety initiative to protect Mr. Bashwinger from scrutiny and allow his negligent, hazardous operations to continue. He could have told the truth and protected everyone from the solidly documented hazards posed by Mr. Bashwinger.

Elect Peggy Christman and Barb Kennedy. They will not mislead you with blatant falsehoods regarding safety and spending. They will actually reach out for professional opinions instead of just lying about it.

If you care about the Town of Berne and safety, please get out and vote for these ladies.

Joel Willsey

Berne Town Board




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