Richard J. Garfunkel
2801 Watch Hill Drive
Tarrytown, NY 10591
April 28, 2005
To Suzanne Berger and the Greenburgh Democratic Town Committee:
On May 26, 2005 you will be faced with a very important decision. You have the power to designate candidates for the position of Greenburgh Town Board Member on the Democratic slate in the upcoming election. This is a powerful and important position, as that person represents one of five votes and is responsible for setting policy, overseeing services and taxes and maintaining the overall well being of our town. The person you designate is not only the face of the Democratic Party, but if elected, represents all residents of Greenburgh.
Last night, April 27, 2005, at the Greenburgh Town Board Meeting, Mr. Francis Sheehan, a candidate for the office of Town Board accused Mr. Don Siegel of being a racist. Many people, including the signers of the letter, witnessed this accusation. Mr. Siegel challenged Mr. Sheehan to repeat his “slur.” Mr. Sheehan demurred and attempted to “bait” Mr. Siegel into a “low-level” exchange of charges.
We believe that this type of behavior is not only antithetical to the principles of the Democratic Party, but clearly demonstrates that Mr. Sheehan lacks the qualifications to be a member of the Town Board. Will he behave this way to residents of the town if he was elected? Would his election make for a cohesive Board, prepared to move forward in a spirit of open mindedness and cooperation regarding the many serious issues facing the town, or will Mr. Sheehan engage in this type of behavior of character assassination? This is not a political issue. The accusations Mr. Sheehan made are serious. We believe that he does not deserve the designation of the committee.
The Chairperson of the Greenburgh Democrats should institute an investigation of his conduct immediately. In this day and age of race sensitivity, Mr. Sheehan's conduct is abhorrent and irresponsible. We are asking the Chairperson and the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party to ask Mr. Sheehan whether he did indeed made this spurious and uncalled-for attack and personal insult to Mr. Siegel. If he made this statement, he should apologize immediately, and withdraw his name from any consideration for the designation. These are not the ideals that the Democratic Party represents.
Richard J. Garfunkel
PS: If action is not taken immediately on this issue this letter will be forwarded to the press.