Letter published in Shawangunk Journal – September 26, 2013
I wish to respond to a recent comment to a story which appeared in the Daily Freeman, “Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo relishes GOP primary win.” Maple24‘s comment criticizes our colleague, Rochester councilwoman Lynn Archer, who is challenging Legislator Bernardo for the District 21 seat in the November election. The comment contains numerous misrepresentations and inaccuracies. I was present at the March 14, 2013 Rochester town board meeting when Tim Bunch, the “former US Marine/War Veteran” mentioned in Maple24’s comment (and also currently a candidate for Rochester town supervisor on the Independence Party ticket) spoke in support of the motion, which he had previously sent to the board, to repeal the state’s recently enacted Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 or SAFE Act. Although Maple24 goes on to say that “A motion was then made by a council member to rescind the SAFE Act,” perhaps implying that it was the motion presented by Mr. Bunch, Mr. Bunch’s proposed motion was neither considered nor approved by the town board.
Instead, after I remarked, “We [board members] are elected to put resolutions on the table,” the board heard, and subsequently adopted, a resolution, entitled “Resolution in support of the Second Amendment” written by our colleague, councilman Tony Spano, which had been submitted to the board just a few hours before the board meeting.
I have complete confidence in the honesty of councilwoman Archer’s representation that, as the busy owner of a small business, she had not had the opportunity to review councilman Spano’s proposal prior to the vote. And it was his proposal, not Mr. Bunch’s, that was before the board. I am also completely sure of her integrity, and understand and applaud her unwillingness to vote on a proposal that she had been unable to review prior to the vote (unlike our state representatives who voted for the SAFE act without sufficient time to discuss or debate it properly). Her decision to abstain, under the circumstances, reflects the best kind of behavior of a thoughtful elected official.
Submitted in the interest of accuracy,
Tavi Cilenti, Councilman