By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Reporter
Jul. 11, 2018: What is important about the July 9 Bronxville Board of Trustees Meeting, the last meeting before a summer hiatus, is not the passage of Local Law 2-2018, which revises special permit requirements for health clubs and indoor recreation facilities, or the authority granted the zoning board of appeals to appoint a vice chair. While both measures are significant in streamlining the method of the village's transacting business, the most vital aspect of the meeting that all residents of Bronxville need to be aware of is that one member of the public attending Monday evening's meeting caused such disruption, and constant disruption, that the mayor, trustees, village counsel, and village administrator were hard pressed to transact business.
But they did it the professional, diligent, and respectful manner village residents can depend on these elected officials to demonstrate. Unfortunately, trying to have positive and productive discussions while being interrupted, and loudly challenged, proved difficult. But they did it. Unfortunately, the informative discussions that are a normal part of their meetings had to be curtailed because of a rather audible, nonstop running commentary being rudely staged from the audience
This individual leveled more than one accusation against the Board for veiling village business in secrecy when its members retired from their work session for an executive session. While the board deliberated in executive session, the accusations of having something to hide continued and, when this individual perhaps realized he did not have an appreciative audience for that, he turned to taunting others in the room, the engineer who set up the cable television broadcast, this reporter, and the two police officers who had been assigned to the meeting.
Something has gone awry when, for rather benign monthly public meetings, village officials have felt the need to have at least one police officer in the room when this individual is in the audience. There has been one Bronxville Police Department officer, often Chief Christopher Satriale, at the meetings for several months running.
I have covered Bronxville Board of Trustees meetings for seven years and those years have seen issues included on agendas that evoked passionate comments from residents, even tears on occasion. I can attest that every person who wanted to speak about an issue had the opportunity to do so and, even speakers who disagreed with the board's position, or each others' positions, did so in a respectful, intelligent, and articulate manner. I can also attest that every trustee listened to the comments and was willing to hear an opposing viewpoint.
Civility in the Trustees Room is gone now, and that is something every Bronxville resident should regret. The monthly meetings have, unfortunately, deteriorated into a one-man show, and not for your benefit. I urge everyone to take some time to watch a rebroadcast of Monday's meeting to see and hear just how disruptive this individual is.
And then I urge you to call village hall. Talk to Mayor Mary Marvin, Village Administrator Jim Palmer. Call your trustees. Thank them for the work they do and the unnecessary nonsense they have had to field for months now, months when they would rather be working on issues rather than swatting away distractions. And think about attending the next board of trustees meeting on Monday, September 10, at 8:00 pm and be a presence that helps bring order back to the assembly.
Pictured here: Bronxville Village Hall.
Photo by A. Warner