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Resident feels Shelby did not have fair process for filling vacancy on Town Board

Posted 16 March 2018 at 2:35 pm

Editor:

It’s not what gets done, it’s how it gets done that’s sometimes the problem. And we’ve got a problem in Shelby.

Throughout my life, I have been taught there is a process and protocol for things. In everyday life there’s a protocol for interacting with people: in family,  in business, and in government – each have their own process and protocol.

Then there’s perception. How we believe things should be. And let’s not forget due process.

The Fourteenth Amendment protects citizens from arbitrary actions and provides they cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process and proceedings that are fair. The people must be given notice and an opportunity to be heard.

In January, I submitted my name and a letter to be considered for an open position on the Shelby Town Council. I followed the protocol as instructed. I submitted a letter to each councilman. Over the course of two months, I heard from various members of the board that interviews would take place and the Shelby Republican Committee would be conducting the interviews. I am a member of the Shelby Republican Committee.

I received an email on February 12th that on February 24th, that an Orleans County Republican Committee meeting was being held. I called the Shelby Republican town chairman to ask about the agenda. I did have a work commitment on February 24th.

The Shelby Republican chairman told me the meeting was “just a procedural vote to support Chris Collins” and my presence was not imperative. He then asked for my proxy vote, which I gave. At that meeting, the Shelby Republican Committee convened and endorsed another candidate for the Shelby Town Board.

As a member of the Shelby Republican Committee, it was my expectation that certain formal, ethical protocol and procedures would be followed. As a committee member, I had absolutely no knowledge or input at all.  As a candidate for the town board, my application was disregarded with no explanation and I was deprived of my right to be informed and participate.  It is my understanding another taxpaying citizen also applied for the position and was never even acknowledged.

And I learned about this after-the-fact by word of mouth around town. When I called the Shelby Republican chairman, I was told they did not perceive me as a viable candidate because my daughter is married to a relative of the Zelazny family.

Abuse of power seems to be a prevailing theme in Shelby.  Is there so much bias in the water here that officials can discriminate and deprive citizens of transparency and due process with impunity?

Dale S. Root

Shelby