Risks or Myths? Stock opposition rhetoric to watch for and question tonight.
Opposition Myths. Town Bias and Tactics. See for yourself.
Tuesday's meeting at the Theodore D. Young Community Center started the week with an absurd offense against incorporation. The Town invited officials and department heads and the event was chaired by Don Cannon, the latest leader of the opposition campaign (though he lives outside of Edgemont). Mr. Cannon walked through a short presentation and then received questions submitted by the audience, most of which were left unanswered as speakers casually pivoted toward stock anti-incorporation rhetoric. The audience was visibly aggravated in the lack of concrete answers and information.
Here is the complete audio of the evening, and here is a non-Edgemont resident's account of Tuesday and prediction for tonight: "We believe the tactic for this Thursday night’s meeting will be orchestrated by Mr. Feiner to somehow accuse the Edgemont Incorporation Group of racial discrimination. We honestly do not believe they are doing this to keep anyone out of Edgemont. Rather, it is to get out from under the Town’s mismanagement and control."
At the Tuesday meeting, Town attorney Tim Lewis urged potential petition objectors to research a 1989 incorporation where the residents were found to be doing so for racist reasons. Here is a link to an NYTimes article on that effort, where Greenburgh's Ella Preiser (also not an Edgemont resident) is quoted in strong opposition to that outrageous act. However, in the case of Edgemont's incorporation, Ms. Preiser has said "Edgemont's incorporation is nothing like what happened in 1989 because the Mayfair-Knollwood map was specifically redrawn to exclude scatter-site housing and minority groups whereas, in Edgemont, the map has been unchanged since 1899. Edgemont is well within its rights to incorporate and given the Town's behavior on land use, the action is completely understandable."
Yesterday, Mr. Cannon sent out a "risks analysis" that was requested by several residents in Edgemont and the unincorporated area. However, it was only sent privately to the residents of Edgemont's multifamily buildings and not the wider Greenburgh email list. Click here for that document. The EIC finds the risk analysis devoid of legitimate research, and finds several items identified to be completely baseless or downright false.
The EIC put together a response to Town attorney Tim Lewis's statement, Mr. Cannon's "risk analysis," and the WESPAC invitation quote from Michael Schwartz. The response briefly walks through each subject mentioned and points out the obvious flaws and troubling underlying assumptions. Feel free to read it here, and listen this evening for similar statements designed to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
Tonight's event is led by the NAACP, which also asked WESPAC to co-host. For the panel, they invited anti-incorporation Edgemont residents Hugh Schwartz and Micheal Schwartz and potentially others; anti-incorporation non-Edgemont resident Don Cannon; and four Town officials, some of whom have publicly stated that they are anti-incorporation.
We certainly hope tonight's meeting sticks to facts and substantiated analysis. In any case, it should make for an interesting evening. We look forward to seeing many of you there: Seely Place Elementary, 7pm-9pm. Come early as we expect space and parking to be limited.