June 14, 2012
On May 25th, a fellow Italian-American Buchanan resident and I, by certified mail, alerted our local and state representatives of conduct and language employed by Buchanan Officials during a public hearing which we believed to constitute ethnic bigotry and anti Italian sentiment. The remarks standing alone were offensive but the circumstances in which they were uttered render them particularly reprehensible.
The applicant before the Village Planning Board was an Italian-American owner of a substantial local business who was compelled to deposit $31,464.86 (to date) “in escrow”, to defray so-called Village expenses, in order to have his application go forward. The offending language at the hearing as well as official acts BEFORE and SUBSEQUENT to the hearing is part and parcel of the problem and will be disclosed to proper parties in an appropriate venue.
The public officials receiving our letter were Legislator Testa, Executive Astorino, Supervisor Puglisi, Senator Ball, and Assemblywoman Galef. Our request of each, without disclosing others received the same request, was for a list of committees dealing with anti-defamation. John Testa and Rob Astorino responded in a timely fashion while Puglisi, Ball, and Galef ignored this simple request from constituents. One may legitimately conclude from the absolute silence of the three elected officials that either they approve of anti Italian-American sentiment or are completely apathetic to its existence.