Coeymans' McHugh censors public comment about Facebook posts
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media that Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh was at odds with the public and other elected officials during the September 8 town board meeting about his decision to censor public comment over a Facebook post by the Coeymans Conservatives group. The comments were made on the “What’s Up, Coeymans” Facebook page about the arrest of a man charged with forcible touching of four underage girls at the Mosher Park Pool. “The supervision and accountability lies with the parents and those hired to operate the public pool and look out for the safety and welfare of the pool patrons,” according to one statement from Coeymans Conservatives. “And the victims are children and deserve to be protected from sexual predators.” Several similar comments were posted on the Coeymans Conservatives and the Town of Coeymans Republican Committee Facebook pages. McHugh leads the Conservative committee. He denied posting the statements and claimed he does not know who did. Numerous town and village residents were angered by the comments. Ravena resident Melissa Ashby attempted to bring the subject up during the public comments portion of the meeting, but McHugh would not allow Ashby to speak, cutting her off almost immediately, claiming the subject was forbidden because it was not town business. "...Facebook comments are not legitimate town business,” he said. Town board member Marissa Tutay, a candidate on the Republican and Conservative lines in the November town election, said, “...It saddens me tremendously that what happened to those children was brought into a political game between two entities. I will tell you that the page you are mentioning was not the Conservative Party so whoever did say that, it was not representing those of us who are in the Conservative Party. I want that to be very clear.” McHugh cut her off as well. Village Trustee Caitlin Appleby, a Republican who also attempted to discuss the topic at the meeting, was likewise not permitted to speak. She later argued the issue is town business because of where the Facebook comments originated from. “...He [McHugh] is the face of both of those committees, and yet he doesn’t want to talk about it,” Appleby said. There is no proof who wrote the Facebook post in question, and Appleby said that is part of the problem. “There is no transparency,” Appleby said. “If he [McHugh] didn’t write it, then he knows who did.” Read the full story at TheUpStater [dot] com.