To the editor:
During the Croton-on-Hudson Village Board meeting on Monday, May 5th, 2008, I read the following statement into the record.
We, the Democratic Committee of the Village of Croton, deplore Mayor Schmidt’s unwarranted verbal abuse of Kevin Davis during citizen participation at the April 21, 2008, Village Board meeting and his inappropriate threat to deny speaking in the citizen participation phase of board meetings to anyone posting on the Croton Blog.
There can be no justification in a democracy, at the Village or any level, for any public officials to propose to silence or bar constitutionally protected speech and press commentary just because they don’t like it. Inclusion of citizen participation at Board meetings is the most visible and direct means to maintain democracy in Village government between yearly elections. It is hugely important both symbolically, as the portrait above the mayor’s chair reminds us, and practically as a means of keeping the Board in touch with the concerns of the Village.
We call upon the Mayor to apologize publicly for his mistreatment of Kevin Davis and to not repeat such behavior in the future. Further, we call upon the Village Board to disavow the Mayor’s statement barring some citizens from speaking during citizen participation at Board meetings and to enact a resolution reaffirming that no Village resident may be barred from speaking during citizen participation at Board meetings.
Editor’s Note: The writer is the Chairman of the Croton Democratic Committee