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NEED FOR CIVILITY RE: EDGEMONT INCORPORATION DEBATE
Release Date: June 27, 2017

 

As many of you may have experienced, the debate related to Edgemont’s proposed incorporation has produced a level and intensity of rhetoric which has inflicted real damage on every segment of the Town’s population and staff, as well as the outside world’s view of both our Town and its Hamlet of Edgemont.

 

At this time, the attacks on the Town Board, our staff and on me have become increasingly personal and in many cases cruel and hurtful.  I have not reacted previously to the ever-mounting, non-stop barrage of vicious commentary, as I believed that acceptance of criticism comes with the “turf” when you choose to be a public servant.  However, this process, which I truly believe is an orchestrated plan by the pro-incorporation group to discredit every aspect of the Town, comes with a severe cost.  Residents, both pro and con, are at “each other’s throats.”  Words like racism and elitism are being tossed about outside and within a community which previously had been seen as a bastion of acceptance of diverse opinions.  The results of this campaign will clearly live on beyond the Edgemont referendum, both in the form of our residents’ perception of each other’s values and in the manner in which the Town of Greenburgh and its Villages are viewed by the outside world.  In addition, the effect of this nasty rhetoric on our staff, who fear for their jobs and whose spirits are being broken by the constant criticism of their commitment and ability to professionally fulfill their responsibilities, is wrong and unacceptable.

 

I am the elected Town Supervisor for approximately 90,000 residents of the incorporated Villages and unincorporated Town of Greenburgh.  In conjunction with a Town Board comprised of individuals I trust and respect, we endeavor to do the best job we can, for all residents.  The Town Board and I oversee  434 full time and 268 part time Greenburgh employees, who are dedicated to serving Greenburgh’s residents and have proven their competence and commitment, over and over again.  The Town Board and I have great pride in these individuals and respect for each and every one, on a personal and professional level.  They are the best of the best and provide the highest level of service anywhere.

 

At some point Edgemont voters may cast ballots in a referendum to determine whether Edgemont will become a Village.  Let us be clear, the potential loss of nearly $17,000,000 in revenue will absolutely have a devastating effect on many of the more than 42,000 residents of unincorporated Greenburgh.  As Supervisor of “The Town of Greenburgh,” not just any single entity, I will do my best to ensure the fairest outcome for my entire constituency.

 

I appeal to those Greenburgh residents on both sides of this debate, to our local newspapers and media outlets, to pursue their objectives, as is their right and responsibility, to their fullest, but to utilize restraint in their tone and presentation.  Our community and our children are watching, and regardless of the outcome, it is my fervent hope that Greenburgh’s reputation for civility and acceptance can remain intact.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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