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'Respect for All' Resolution Causes Fracas at Board

Written By Editor on 12/18/16 | 12/18/16

Much of the agenda at Friday's Board of Supervisors' meeting was accomplished without major debate. Toward the end of the meeting, a major rift opened over a proposed resolution.

Proposed resolution #106 was offered by Supervisor Chris Tague of Schoharie and seconded by Supervisor Larry Bradt of Carlisle. The resolution was the brainchild of Schoharie resident Glenn Sanders and came after calls of 'build the wall' occurred at Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School in November.

The draft reads in part that "the value of promoting a sense of inclusiveness and respect amongst a diverse citizenry is a fundamental and proven part of the political, social, and economic systems of the United States," and that the Board would be resolved to "affirm the importance of speaking out, in clear and firm language, against any and all harassment of County residents based merely and entirely on group membership" as well as a call to "the values of diversity, inclusiveness and respect, and to quickly make i clear" that "hatred, bias, discrimination, and harassment against individuals" is "highly offensive and damaging."

Mr. Sanders read several letters to the board from residents and explained in his role as a social psychologist that "it's very clear to me...that [empowerment] is a two-edged sword," stating that since the presidential election that there have been "hundreds" of cases of intolerance across the country and that ultimately further action could empower others to stand against discrimination.

The board was split on the recommendations. Supervisor Larry Bradt said that the resolution passed the Rules and Legislation Committee saying that it was a "good idea" and to treat people as individuals. He added that there were several occasions of false reports regarding racism, even as close as Albany. Bradt asked if the alleged incidents at Cobleskill have been investigated and proven."

Sanders replied, saying that two of the parties involved have confirmed the situation occurred and that the school was dealing with the situation.

Supervisor Leo McAllister of Cobleskill said that while no one on the Board would disagree with the sentiment, but that he believes that the media has stoked a view that highlighted a false sense of harassment. He said that as a child he was bullied and that today "it's a media thing" and that "it's becoming too political and what's happening is that we are then being forced to not say this or not say that because you're anti-somebody." He said that he may not be able to support the resolution due to this fact.

Supervisor Bill Federice of Conesville said that intimidation and bullying is unacceptable. "I can support that in a heartbeat." He continued that much of the situation is due to young people being unable to "accept results." He said that the media is partially to blame and that he disagreed with one line in the resolution specifically referencing the recent election and believing that it is particularly against the Trump campaign and that he would request it being removed.

Supervisor Phil Skowfoe of Fulton said that the media "intensifies" the national situation. A Democrat, he said that election results should be respected. He said that negativity can be spread but that he supports the resolution.

The Supervisor of Broome David Simkins said that he would vote against any motion that turned against "freedom of speech."

Supervisor Chris Tague of Schoharie said that he supported Donald Trump in the election but that he supports the resolution because he doesn't look at it "as a political thing," but instead, "a thing of respect." He added that calling people "names due to race or due to your gender" is "morally wrong." Tague said "we think of you as human beings first."

County Attorney Mike West, who also serves as C-R's attorney said that the school was doing their "darndest" to handle the situation.

The Board continued to tussle over the resolution and its wording, with many of the Supervisors getting a statement in. It was the consensus of the Board to send the resolution back to committee to fine tune wording before it came back to the whole.
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1 comments:

Norie61 said...

ARE THESE PEOPLE SERIOUS? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS COUNTRY WHEN WE HAVE TO MAKE RESOLUTIONS TO TREAT PEOPLE, ALL PEOPLE, LIKE DECENT HUMAN BEINGS. THAT IS GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION. RESPECT IS EARNED, BUT KINDNESS AND ACCEPTANCE SHOULD COME NATURALLY. THE MEDIA ONLY GIVES US WHAT WE WANT.YOU DON'T LIKE THE STORIES,THEN DON'T SUPPORT THE MEDIA, HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS. IN SOME WAYS THE "BULLYING" THAT KIDS FACE TODAY IS SIMILAR TO WHAT MOST OF US "OLD TIMERS" HAVE FACED, THE DIFFERENCE IS WE WERE TAUGHT TO FIGHT BACK, WE WERE TAUGHT HOW TO "GET YOU BACK". TODAY THE POLITICALLY CORRECT PEOPLE PREACH TO NOT FIGHT BACK,TO TURN THE OTHER CHEEK. BALONEY,THESE KIDS NEED TO LEARN COPING SKILLS AND HOW TO FIGHT BACK! THE BOARD NEEDS TO TAKE LESSONS AND GET A PAIR OF...... AND WE THE TAXPAYERS NEED TO FIGHT BACK!

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