Mam’k Town Board Picks Member Amid More Controversy
13 Feb, 2014
By Polly Kreisman
As Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson announced what many said was a foregone conclusion, that the Town of Mamaroneck has appointed Village of Mamaroneck resident Tom Murphy to the Board of Trustees, skewing the majority of the Town Board to non-Town residents, Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Norm Rosenblum weighed in to blame the public for its “apathy” and a “dormant” democratic process that has resulted in years of unopposed candidates in the Town.
The appointment was widely criticized for having been conducted without transparency and in possible violation of State Open Government law.
“The real test for the Town of Mamaroneck is not who will be the replacement for Phyllis Wittner, rather it will be whether the democratic process in the Town will ever become active once again,” he writes in a comment in theLoop (scroll to bottom of Tuesday’s article)
“The past several years of unopposed candidates is a sad reflection of apathy and lack of true discussion and positions that should be offered to the electorate. Whomever is named as Phyllis’ replacement that individual will be required to run for that office in November.
“Will there be anyone who cares enough to put themselves forward for consideration to give choice to the public, or will apathy reign supreme and the democratic process stays [sic] dormant in the Town of Mamaroneck with no surprise to the continuing apathy of the electorate,” he asks.
In another comment, former Town Supervisors Valerie Moore O’Keeffe and Elaine Price write, “In our view to turn one’s back on majority representation is poor governance and reflects a disservice to the community the government purports to serve.”
On Feb. 11 O’Keeffe told theLoop, “That means the majority of the Board can pass tax hikes that won’t affect them, or pass Town Fire Dept. bond issue that they can’t vote on. It’s crazy. They’d flunk Government 101. There seems to be no respect for the process.”
Murphy told theLoop Tuesday, ”I am a citizen of the Town not just the Village. I will make decisions based on what is best for everyone in the community. I actually find Valerie’s assertions to be insulting.”
Seligson’s announcement came in the form of a press release, which says, “The Town of Mamaroneck Town Council plans to appoint Thomas A. Murphy to the Town Board February 12, 2013 to fill the vacancy created by Councilwoman Phyllis Wittner’s retirement…Tom has been a productive and active community member for many years. I look forward to working with him.”
Seligson did not respond to our request for comment.
Top photo: Donald Sutherland