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Letter to the Editor: Singletary Spearheaded Staten Island Secessionist Movement

Written By Editor on 11/4/13 | 11/4/13

To the Editor:
It's been said that all politics is local, so it should be no surprise that when I was up visiting friends in Jefferson, the local elections in Jefferson and the local elections down here in New York City, where I live, were a topic of discussion.
What was a bit surprising was a name that came up in our discussion, and that was Dan Singletary.
My friend shared some of his own observations about Dan and (via the wonders of the internet) a letter from Country Treasurer and some local editorials and news stories. He has since shared with me news of "The Report" and it's many implications, but there was too much there for me to even digest, so I'll ignore that for now.
As a long time Staten Island resident, I remember Dan from his days here, some 20 years ago. And it seems that, although I know little about Jefferson and Schoharie, little has changed about Dan.
In the late 80s and early 90s, and the New York City Government was being revamped, Dan spearheaded a campaign for Staten Island to secede  from New York City, founding a local "Secession Party."
While Staten Island's direct government representation was being reduced, the real impact of that change was a matter of serious debate. What could be of no debate was that every responsible study showed that Staten Island could not -- without gargantuan tax hikes -- possibly support itself as a city.
With fear mongering and grandstanding, Dan made common cause with some of the politicians who feared that their "power" would be reduced to "influence," and Dan recklessly pursued his agenda. (That seems to be reflected in much of "The Report."
Twenty years down the line have proved Dan's fearful predictions false.
Yes, Staten Island has grown, but rather than being weaker, it is now larger and stronger than it has even been. It's infrastructure as part of the City has been strengthened, not reduced.
I understand that Dan has been in charge for several years now, and the accusations I've seen (and heard) leveled against him them carry all the hallmarks of the campaigns that he led here. It seems that long-term sustainability and financial stability are simply not Dan's forte.
Good citizens of Jefferson, I suggest you proceed with great caution.
Alfred Stein
Staten Island, New York
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