Public comment period in New Baltimore up for debate
Nancy Kern reports for Columbia-Greene Media that allegations of all sorts are being traded in New Baltimore recently. Harold W. Vadney III, Elaine Vosburgh, and Judith Felsten say that Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso is not interested in their free speech, alleging he says “get on with it” and “this is not town business” to put an end to any discussion he does not want to hear. Felsten said, “The Board treats members of the public condescendingly. I feel they consider public comment more of a nuisance. I don’t think they have a great interest in public forum or in discussion and debate.” Vosburgh said, about the July 10 board meeting, “Jeff did not let Harold finish his presentation.... Mr. Ruso banged the gavel many times and did not allow Harold Vadney to finish. He said, ‘This is not town business,’ when Mr. Vadney referred to libelous remarks against current Highway Superintendent Alan VanWormer that were published by the New Baltimore Republican Committee." Felsten said, “At one point I was objecting to an action they’d taken with our court personnel. I was stating my position and Jeff started arguing back. Part of what he does is talk so much it blocks you. It’s a kind of bullying. He tries to talk you into a silence, and then at the end he says, ‘Well, now that’s settled’ — when it isn’t.” The story does not get Ruso's side, only quoting him from a statement at a town meeting about social media not being town business. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.