I left out this link in the previous post (https://www.facebook.com/pg/SaratogaGreenbeltTrail/posts/?ref=page_internal). As a reminder the link is to the Greenbelt Trail facebook page. The page has a notice that that due to abuses, their site is no longer accepting public posts.
In a related matter, the Greenbelt Trail posted a comment on Pat Kane’s website taking exception to his posts on websites which apparently included the Greenbelt Trail’s. The posted comment was meant to convey to Mr. Kane that his allegations (apparently posted on the Greenbelt’s website) that Commissioner Madigan was obstructing their work was a mischaracterization(see below). Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Mr. Kane deleted this comment from his website page.
So since Pat Kane, is vice chair of the Charter Review Commission, I sent the email below to Bob Turner to be distributed to tonight’s (September 28th) meeting. I thought it was time for them to take responsibility and address their Vice Chair’s behavior. During the public comment period, Mr. Turner was asked whether he had gotten my email (I am away). Mr. Turner denied having received it. Readers, you will pardon my skepticism but Mr. Turner is a new media kind of guy. While it is possible he did not receive it, it seems highly unlikely. So here is the letter:
I am sending this to you as chair of the Charter Review Commission. I ask that you provide copies to the members of the commission for tonight’s meeting. Hopefully you can email it to them, otherwise please hand it out at the meeting.
There is little doubt that the conflict over the proposed charter has been spirited–make that heated– at times. There is little doubt that both the proponents and opponents have often been angered by what they perceive as exaggeration or distortion. As many of the members of the commission know, I have been highly critical of the way data has been used, of claims that have been made based on secret sources, and of events like the Skidmore survey. Still, I have never indulged in questioning the motivation of anyone nor in name calling.
In the last several days, your vice chairman, Pat Kane, has made a serious, personal attack on Commissioner Madigan and then disseminated his comment on numerous websites. The attack includes the following text:
“The back and forth of the vehicles would have created a natural trail and saved the city significant money of having to create a trail from new. However, Michele Madigan did not permit it because the trail was seen as ‘the mayor’s project.’”
“This form of government breeds this type of behavior and waste.”
This kind of personal attack goes way beyond the scrum that has been the debate on the efficacy of your proposed charter. Without the pretense of any kind of supporting information, Mr. Kane asserts that Commissioner Madigan is attempting to sabotage the city’s bike trail in order to hurt Mayor Yepsen.
This is a particularly disturbing attack given that the chair of the Greenbelt Trail Committee took exception to Mr. Kane’s assertion and posted a comment on Mr. Kane’s Facebook page. Worse, Mr. Kane having received this, Mr. Kane removed it from his page.
When Mr. Kane agreed to be vice chair of your organization, he accepted that when he spoke on issues related to the charter, people would see him as representing your commission. I use “representing” in two ways.
- Representing as in speaking on behalf of the commission as its vice chair.
- Representing the commission in that as a person he represented the kind of leadership selected by you its members.
I would note that it is also interesting that he presumes that people see the bike trail as the Mayor’s personal achievement. In fact not only has the entire City Council actively worked on the trail, many volunteers have put in extensive time on its behalf.
Mr. Kane owes Ms. Madigan an apology. His crude attack reflected the lowest kind of politics. In the event that he chooses not to apologize, the question that arises is how will the Commission handle this? Is this really what the Commission considers to be an acceptable tactic?
I would hope that the commission would use tonight’s meeting to make clear to the public that the members of the Commission disassociate themselves from this unbecoming behavior; that as the debate winds up, the Commission is committed to a level of civility that rises above these kinds of tactics. Silence by the Commission on this matter can only be read that the commission sees this behavior as an effective tool in your pursuit of passing your charter.