At a time when the likes of Xi Jinping in China and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil are leveraging crisis to disenfranchise, the town of Greenburgh has similarly decided to capitalize on the suffering and uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic to further its campaign to strip Edgemont of its right to vote.
With a tin ear to the ugliness of their strategy, town officials have taken to this paper to unabashedly tell us that they are “doing us a favor” by thwarting our right to vote [“Supreme court overturns Feiner’s incorporation ruling,” May 29, p 1]. This would be laughable if it were not tragic.
Americans are entitled to the government of their choosing. Our leaders serve at the pleasure of their constituency and are expected to place their needs above personal objectives. Many have died so that we are ensured our right to vote. These are American ideals that do not change when there is a crisis.
Soon it will be five years that Edgemont has been trying to secure a vote. Mr. Feiner has used the power and prestige of his office, as well as hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and a variety of dirty tricks, to prevent voters from being heard. Is it because petitioners have not followed the rules to bring a vote? No. Is it because he has legitimate concerns about the effects Edgemont’s incorporation might have on others in the town? No. Mr. Feiner has engaged in these ham-handed tactics solely to protect and consolidate his power, and to ensure his continued reelection despite poor performance as town supervisor of Greenburgh. Wasting Greenburgh taxpayer dollars pursuing his selfish and misguided objectives is no favor to town residents.
Should Edgemont further postpone the improvements that will come from incorporation because of the COVID-19 crisis? Quite to the contrary. It is now more important than ever that we make smart decisions for strong policy in our community, so that we can survive and thrive in the challenged economic environment we face. By preventing our community the ability to self-govern, the town is doing us no favors.
Should the town continue to waste taxpayer money on legal costs simply to delay the inevitable, at a time when many are hurting and the money could be used to improve the quality of resident’s lives? Absolutely not. If Mr. Feiner has a shred of decency, he would stop wasting taxpayer money with stall tactics that have no benefit to anyone but himself, and refrain from having his supporters insult us with ludicrous justifications for their misdeeds.