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Letter to the Editor: DeFeo Frustrated with Middleburgh Government

Written By Timothy Knight on 3/19/15 | 3/19/15


Dear Editor,


I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your recent coverage of the March meeting of the Middleburgh Town Board. First, I would like to thank you for your attendance at this and our regular monthly meetings. We are very fortunate to have the Press in attendance. Many other Towns within the County do not benefit from this same oversite. It is critical that the Public be kept abreast of the activities of their public officials. I would also add that our Town Board minutes can be found on the Schoharie County Website, although locating them will take some effort.

Rather than attempt to support or refute the many items found in your lengthy article, allow me to make one simple point; 
I have met many people over the years in the numerous civic organizations I have served on. I believe most people would describe me as a pretty soft spoken, level headed person, perhaps a bit of an over-analyzer. However, at the most recent Board meeting I was neither soft spoken, nor apparently very level headed, given the reaction of some people in the room. 

If one can subtract oneself from the drama which was that meeting, perhaps you might ask yourself why would Brian DeFeo act so out of character? This is so unlike him.  In a word frustration. Frustration in what I believe have been a series of irregularities occurring in Middleburgh Town Government.

Jim Buzon has been my friend for almost thirty years, and the Lord willing I hope thirty more. He is very intelligent man. I don't think anybody can question his work drive. Yet, despite these attributes I believe there is a growing dis-connect. I don't necessarily see this as Mr. Buzon's fault. It appears to be the occupational hazard of politicians in general these days. 

I am not a trained social scientist, yet it seems to me the farther a politician comes from the People, the greater the dis-connect becomes. Ultimately, many reach a mind set whereby the 'ends justify the means' and they some how become free from the bounds of good government. This is apparent in both Albany and Washington. 

When this happens reasonable people must come forward to ensure that our Constitutional system of checks and balances within government remains intact. Sometimes there is price to pay for those willing to speak up. Halfway into my first term as a Councilman my late Father (who only gave me advice twice in my life) said to me, "If everybody likes you, you are probably not doing your job". There is great irony in his remark, in that to get a job as an elected public official you must first win a popularity contest. However, to do a good job as an elected public official, you must on occasion do something unpopular. 

In closing, the Citizens of Middleburgh have voted five individuals to their Town Council. I appreciate that wisdom and value their trust.

Brian DeFeo, Councilman
Town of Middleburgh
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