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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Civility 2.0

By Cindy Goldstein -

 

Since the evening of the last meeting of the Board of Trustees (BOT) on February 12th, there has been an uproar on social media about Trustee Lou Young reportedly calling a female resident a “miserable bitch.”  Calls for the Board of Trustees (BOT) to censure Trustee Young peppered the social media outlets as did demands for Young’s apology and/or resignation.

 

Young opened the February 26th BOT meeting by reading a statement, presumably in response to the controversy.  Here is the complete text of this statement:

 

“We must all strive for greater and more consistent civility.  When I say all that includes me.  Fewer and fewer people really want to serve public office because too often our collective focus is shifted from problem solving to self-defense.  Our motives are questioned, and facts are distorted and each person’s subjective appreciation of reality spawns passion.  There’s really too little discussion on how to move our community forward and too many personal attacks.  I pledge tonight to maintain my focus on constructive engagement not responding to ad hominem attacks which reduce and distract our dialogue.

 

Only by displaying constant self-discipline and focus can we help to move the village forward. Petty bickering wastes time and has the opposite effect.  Let us strive to be great together and each to contribute to that objective which should bind all committed to this Village.

 

Again, I say we must all strive for greater and more consistent civility, and all includes me.”


Watch the video HERE.

 

After Young finished, Trustee Nora Lucas made her own comments reminding her fellow board members that they are public figures who are subject to criticism but must maintain grace under pressure.  She also asked them to be mindful of their role and the privilege they have in serving the public, and to set an example for others.  Lucas asked the BOT to focus on flooding and address a multi-pronged plan as many residents have been traumatized by the constant fear of flooding.  Priorities should be focused, and everyone should work collaboratively and civilly to make the Village more resilient. 

 

Mayor Sharon Torres spoke and referenced her statement of February 12th condemning racial slurs.  She said she realized that her comments then weren’t clear enough and said that comments that are racist, sexist, uncivil or mean have no place here.  She recognized that she cannot tell everyone what to do but will lead by example.  She acknowledged that some residents wanted a stronger and quicker statement condemning the language.  In response, she stated that “she takes this seriously” and “her approach is to set a better example.”  Torres invited everyone to join her.  Torres also acknowledged that this effort will apparently take longer than we all like.  To end, she said that if you are “asking for civility, start with it.”

 

Later in the meeting, Torres opened the Public Comment period, repeating her reminder to be respectful of others.  Some residents recounted the reported incident and called for Young to resign saying “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”  Young did not submit his name for consideration for endorsement by the Village Democrats in the next election.


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