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Letter: Yorktown Republicans Avoiding Big Issues

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To the editor:

I give the Republicans credit for their creativity in trying to divert attention from Supervisor Grace’s pet project of building a new $4.8 million highway garage by creating a non-issue of an alleged violation of privacy. 

I’m referring to the outrage from the Republicans in response to the e-mail blast Councilman Patel sent out last week critical of the highway project. No one’s privacy has been violated. The Democrats have, and always will, respect the privacy of the town’s residents. The Republicans are making much ado about nothing.

In the digital age, the official state Committee on Open Government has determined, unequivocally, the release of e-mail addresses on lists maintained by a municipality is not “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” How many e-mails did you get yesterday from people you don’t know? If you’re like most people, if you’re not interested in the subject line or don’t know the sender, you immediately hit the delete button. End of issue. Your privacy was not violated. Alternately you hit the “unsubscribe” link. Where’s the crisis? Why did the Republicans feel it necessary to have a press conference, call a special town meeting and make numerous robo calls about a non-issue? 

The Republicans say they won’t use government resources for political purposes. Won’t they be using the Board of Elections’ voter files to send you their campaign mailings later this month? The voter files, which are public records, include your name, address, party registration, voter history and age. 

If the Republicans mean what they say about not using government resources for political purposes, then I’ll expect Supervisor Grace to stop using the town’s audio-visual equipment and the town board meeting room to produce his "Grace Notes" program, which only presents his partisan side of any town issue. 

In the remaining weeks of the campaign, let’s get back to debating the real issues facing Yorktown, like whether we need a new $4.8 million highway garage when our roads, bridges and drainage are in urgent need of repair. 

Elliot Krowe, co-chair Yorktown Democratic Committee

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