To the Editor:
I attended the Cortland town meeting March 25 and was wearing a “Russ Stokes for Mayor” sticker I had made. I was told, by the Town Clerk Cheryl Aldis, that I had to remove it. I asked why, because it was not a polling place, and was told that it was a government building. I then went over to Chief of Police and asked him if I had to do so and he backed up Aldis.
Filled with doubts, the following day I called the Governor, Attorney General and States Attorney’s offices and behold … no such law. I promptly went down to the town hall and demanded a written apology from Aldis. Her response was I should write it myself. As I left, I placed a call to the police chief. The following morning I got and accepted an apology from him.
Now what is interesting about the meeting, you would expect Aldis to be seated at the table with the trustees taking minutes and doing roll call votes, right? Well you would be wrong. Aldis has an assistant who does that job.
If I was a trustee and it is budget time now, I would cut the clerk’s budget and demand that she sit at the table and do her statutory job. The trustees are supposed to be the check and balance that keep the elected officials, well … in check. To the trustees, all I can say is wake up!
At the Candidates night Wednesday evening, candidate and trustee Chuck Lanning complained that communication is the worst he has seen in his 20 years on the board.
Russ Stokes also raised concerns about communication, numerous closed-door meetings and complained that his Freedom of Information requests, some pertaining to minutes to those meetings, have not been provided to him. Well, Aldis does not need a FOIA request to release and give copies of public documents. They should be willfully provided.
I do think Cortland needs new leadership from someone not presently on the town board. That person is Russ Stokes.
I have known Russ for 20 years and served with him as volunteer on the fire department. Russ will bring honesty and integrity to Cortland.
I encourage voters to vote for change; I’m just saddened voters have no choice for a new clerk.
Visit electrussstokesmayor.com for info.