There is more to being an active citizen than attending board meetings

Posted 7 January 2019 at 10:40 am


Since Mr. Ray Burke publicly found it “hard to believe” I can have an opinion regarding what is going on in the Town of Gaines, I thought I would take the opportunity to politely remind him that the crux of my complaint was the negative tone of Gaines politics.

Mr. Burke responded by attacking mine and another letter writer’s character and credibility-which has become par for the course when a certain segment of the Gaines community is questioned. In many ways Mr. Burke proved my point even better than my own original letter did.

In his retort to my letter, Mr. Burke asked how many Gaines town board meetings I, and other people have attended and concluded his letter stating, “It looks to me that the only way to find out what wrong in the Town of Gaines (and it looks like other towns), is to go ask questions and demand answers rather than sitting back and writing Letters to the Editor.”

That sounds impressive, but there is a small fact that Mr. Burke omitted, according to the meeting minutes for the 2018 calendar year, Mr. Burke only addressed the town board once the entire year. He may have attended more Gaines town board meetings than I did last year, but we addressed the board the exact same amount last year. I addressed them in February, and from what I can gather, Mr. Burke does not live in Gaines year-round, so he was not at that meeting.

It should not matter how many board meetings I have attended, there is no prize. And while it may just look like I “sit back” I can assure you Mr. Burke, I am a very active member of this community and volunteer my time for multiple organizations and have paid taxes in Gaines for over 20 years.

I will conclude by saying that Mr. Burke, I respect your right to express your opinion, and I am happy you find time to attend meetings at your convenience. In the future I think we would all be better off if you stuck to the facts and left those of us who you think just “sit back,” out of your attacks.

Thom Jennings