Saturday, May 10, 2008

Response from Trustee Christopher Thomas

(my comments are in blue)


As promised, here is my response.

1. You have never been ignored. I have listened to you at each and every meeting during the public comment period. And it is a public comment period, not a public debate period, which is why I have not engaged your concerns each and every month.

I don't want to take up all of your time, but I think this issue deserves as much attention as other issues that effect us all, such as the fire whistle, which was given quite a bit of time during the public comment period at the May 14th meeting, after my issue was given none.

>>>The fire whistle is something over which the board has actual control.

Granted, you have more direct control, but this does not excuse doing everything possible to stop the massive injustice.

2. I have never said that this decision was not within our purview. So on that you are incorrect. What I have said is that the resolution is an idealistic and futile effort at change. I made that same point at the Back to Democracy forum when I was running for Village Trustee. Your response was that "it would make you feel better." That is not a good enough reason to adopt such a resolution.

There was no resolution when you were running for Trustee, and at the 9/24/07 meeting at the Fire Hall you did say that you didn't consider it within the purview of the board. This is from an email from you on 12/20/07 " it is not the responsibility of village government to continue to entertain motions for which it has no ability to adjudicate." This is the same flawed argument as the "not in our purview" argument. The dictionary defines "adjudicate" as a process whereby you would review the evidence, argumentation, and legal reasoning, and make a decision. Passing the resolution would be one possible way to make this decision, which we all realize would not have the force of law, but would be valuable in many other ways.

>>>Your evidence does not support your argument.. I said we should not "continue" because we have already had a public hearing and voted. That in no way suggests I do not believe that it is not within our purview, but that within our purview, we have considered the resolution as a board. It did not pass.

Again, you state the obvious. Thomas Jefferson tried to end slavery. It didn't work, we tried again later.

Are you are fundamentally in agreement with us, and you would like to see the criminals impeached, as evidenced by the fact that you signed the petition? Are you voting against passage, because you think it is an "idealistic and futile effort at change"? It is not futile. It is impossible to know how much effect passage might have, but to thwart our effort is worse than doing nothing, and doing nothing in the face of massive injustice would make you complicit in it.

>>>In July there were, by my recollection 87 municipalities that had adopted similar resolutions. How many are there now? Has the number changed significantly? Is there a tangible movement afoot? Also, COMPLICIT is defined as "choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act." I have done no such thing and to describe the board's difference with your opinion as complicit is an attempt at emotional excitement.

Yes, we are all "choosing to be involved in an illegal act" when as citizens and taxpayers we continue to fund the insanity, and do little to stop it. Sorry if that invokes emotion.

Thank you for pointing out, that you now consider it within your purview. We are making progress. Also, you are correct that passing the resolution to make me feel better is not a valid reason for passage. I have given perhaps 100 reasons on this blog, so you've only got 99 left to debunk. Further progress!

>>>It is not the responsibility of the board to debunk your position, rather it is your responsibility to demonstrate the need for this board to affirm your resolution, which would include the tangible results of such a decision (i.e. the pursuant impeachment stemming from our decision.)

Sometimes we have to do the right thing without concrete evidence of immediate results.

3. I believe that many of the voters who have and have not signed your petition came to the polls when you ran for Village Trustee. I also believe that the reason you were defeated was because there were not enough people who supported your position. If there were as many as you suggest, I think you would now be sitting on the Board raising these issues as a Trustee.

There are many reasons why I was defeated. It is ridiculous to conclude from my defeat, that support for the resolution is not a majority position.

>>>Certainly there may have been other reasons. But you have been for more than a year or two pursuing this objective, and so your name is somewhat synonymous with the subject of impeachment. Had there been an up-welling of support for this resolution to pass I believe you would have won the election, or at the very least, made a tighter race of it.

An undeniable fact in politics is that candidates have better chances when they are close to the political center. My positions put me way to the left of center. I knew, and told everyone on the candidate selection committee, that a candidate closer to the center would have a better chance of winning, but I was chosen as the candidate. Perhaps that was not wise, but it is not proof of a lack of support for the resolution.

4. The Village took the time, had a public meeting and voted. The resolution didn't pass. And there has yet to be anyone on the Board, to include the Mayor or Former Trustee Filiberto, who has offered this resolution up for consideration in front of the Board. This is why there has been no discussion of it. It is not a topic that is on the table. And until someone makes another resolution, and it is seconded, it will not appear on the agenda and it will not be voted on.

Yes, and water is wet. One reason that I continue to raise the issue, is that I consider you and John to be intelligent and reasonable people, so I haven't given up hope that you will do the right thing. Mayor Petrovic has stated that he is still in support of passage, so all we need is your vote and John's.

>>>Yes, water is wet... and the village is as likely to change the course of impeachment as water is likely to be all of the sudden dry...

(fallacious argument debunked above)

Christopher Thomas

Thank you Chris, for the prompt response.
Allen Carstensen

>>>Thank you for your passion...

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Trumansburg, NY, United States