Follow up: Garbage collection cut in Village as three police recruits (all white males) hired

To the editor:

I am following up with new information to my commentary earlier this week regarding adding more police staff and a “diversity” panel consisting of three white men. After speaking to over a dozen neighbors, I understand that in the course of cutting sanitation services in half, three new recruits were simultaneously added to the police force. Trustee Ciro Greco told one neighbor that there was just “no room in the budget to support the twice-a-week trash pickup” that has been in place at least in 32 years since I have lived here. Yet, in the same time period, three additional recruits were added when the budget did not allow for it. To put this in context, the police force was about 25 officers prior to the additions, so adding three new members is a whopping 12% increase already.

And, you guessed it, all three are white males. There may be even more staff increases, but the administration does not respond to Freedom of Information Law requests. In fact, all of the people I spoke to were taken by surprise at the decrease in essential waste-removal services especially during a pandemic when the increased time waste is outside creates a health risk. Further, all of those I spoke with were caught by surprise, as I was, regarding the reduction in services and wondered why there was no outreach, no referendum to fully vet these very important issues that have great impact on our daily lives.

They thought the mayor should send door-to-door fliers when taking such major changes and hold a series of meetings to allow people to express concerns and ideas. Not a single one of us knew what was done or had a chance to opine, and about eight of us have written to the mayor and/or village administrator with zero response.

So, again, I ask, whether yet more increases to the police department that just gained a 12% staff increase in less than six months are warranted and for the data that supports the alleged need. Where’s the data, mayor?

Finally, these three white men on the diversity panel need to be replaced. As an attorney who has served as compliance officer, drafting and enforcing codes of conduct with diversity initiatives for major public and private companies, I don’t see the requisite skill set on the current panel nor the desire to perform a comprehensive analysis based on data supporting the alleged need. The fact that there are no women on the police force, and that there has only been one in 32 years, is a major indication of systemic discrimination by these three who have been in charge of hiring for a significant period of time.

Patricia Yak

9 Third Ave.