Supervisors call inclusion, respect too political


By David Avitabile

What appeared to be an innocuous, feel good resolution promoting mutual respect, sparked a half-hour of sometimes heated debate among Schoharie County supervisors Friday morning.
The resolution was in response to a racially-charged incident that occurred at Cobleskill-Richmondville high school shortly after the election of Donald Trump as president.
Schoharie resident Glenn Sanders introduced the proposed resolution and said it was in response to an article in the November 23 edition of the Times-Journal about students chanting "build the wall" and "send them back to Africa."
He also read several letters from county residents detailing instances of bullying and discrimination in the county.
The majority of the proposed resolution spoke about "inclusiveness and respect amongst a diverse citizenry," but several supervisors objected to a paragraph noting that the number of hateful statements and bullying have increased during and after the recent national political campaigns.
"No one wants harassment, but it's too political," responded Cobleskill's Leo McAllister.
After numerous supervisors, mostly Republicans, opposed the wording of the resolution, it was tabled, and referred back to the rules committee for rewording."
"Right now, we have a climate here where people can't accepted results," noted Bill Federice of Conesville about the election of Donald Trump as president.
"People fight the good fight and, win or lose, but that's not what happened," he added.
"I see it as a slap at one candidate."
Those who opposed the resolution found the following paragraph most objectionable, "Whereas, there have been numerous and credible reports of hateful statements, bullying, prejudice, discrimination and harassment actions, based on ethnic, religious, and other kinds of group membership, being intensified during and after the most recent national political campaigns."
Middleburgh's Pete Coppolo added, "We don't need a resolution to say, 'We're against this.'"
Fellow Republican Chris Tague, who noted that he did vote for Donald Trump, said he offered the resolution because it came from Schoharie residents and that he "saw it as a thing of respect, not political or attacking freedom of speech."
The resolution is not a law, and it just says, "We're good people and we respect you."