From the Chair: Transparency in Village Government

To the Editor:

In his letter to the Gazette last week, Trustee Ken Walsh said that he hoped that “if [Trustee Brian Pugh] has an issue, he will talk with anyone individually on the board either before or after the meetings.”  Mr. Walsh apparently dislikes having such conversations out in the open, preferring to have them in private and off the record.

This seems odd coming from someone who ran for Trustee on a platform that stated that he believes…

“…that the village board has an affirmative obligation to do more than simply let the public know what decisions it has made. Throughout the entire process, each member of the Board must be committed to conducting public business publicly, rather than in secret and behind closed doors.”  

Mr. Walsh seems to have forgotten that pledge in the year since he was elected.  As have his running mates.

Since taking over the majority on the Village Board, the Croton United Trustees have constantly opposed Mr. Pugh’s and Ms. Gallelli’s attempts to agendize items for discussion at public Board meetings.  And Mr. Walsh, in particular, seems to have an aversion to public meetings and appears to not understand the reason to have them.  He has been absent from many scheduled Board meetings, and he has complained more than once that there are too many meetings and that they take too long, though they typically run about 90 minutes.

Mr. Walsh and his Croton United colleagues campaigned their way into the majority by complaining about a lack of transparency in their opponents’ administration and promising to do better.   But, once elected, they have in fact reduced communications with the residents and important decisions have been made without public discussion.

The monthly newsletter was unilaterally scrapped by the Mayor only to be replaced by a “quarterly” publication which has much less useful information, and arrives one third as often.  Their other unilateral actions, if taken by the previous administration, would have been grist for a barrage of outraged letters from them and their supporters.  

I know that “consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds”, but really…

Richard Masur, Croton Resident

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