Proud to be an open-minded Republican
I feel compelled to respond to misstatements made in local media regarding the Saugerties Town Board’s vote on the resolution to rescind the NYS Safe Act.
Let me begin by saying that I was very specific when I said that I saw the proposed revision at approx 6:30 p.m. the night of the meeting. I also said that although at first glance I didn’t see too much that was unacceptable in the revised resolution, I felt that I, along with Supervisor Myers and the public would need time to review and digest the info contained in the revised version prior to making a decision as to whether or not it should be passed in replacement of the original resolution put forth by Kelly Myers and seconded by myself at our previous Town Board meeting.
As a matter of fact, and you can check the tape of the [March 20] meeting, I stated that if we passed the revised resolution without giving the entire Town Board and the public time to review it and provide us with comments for additions or deletions, then we would be doing the same thing that we had previously accused Gov. Cuomo of doing, and that my friend is ramming this resolution down the throats of our citizens without any regard for their thoughts or concerns.
Any statement suggesting I was in “full agreement” with Democratic Chairman Mike Harkavy is total nonsense and meant to mislead people. What I said, and again you can view the tape of the meeting, was that I agreed with Mike Harkavy’s suggestion that we should add bullets to our resolution and be very specific about what we don’t agree with and want changed. Yes I said it that night and I’ll still stand by my statement agreeing with Mike Harkavy on this point but please note that when I had spoken to Supervisor Myers and also several individuals from the audience that they were in agreement with the idea of providing specific comments to areas of the resolution that we are concerned about. If you feel that every idea, or concern, voiced by an individual from an opposing party is automatically wrong and should not be considered, then I truly feel that you are narrow-minded and not interested in doing what is best for our community.
Remember, I was elected by the people of Saugerties as a Republican to serve them to the best of my ability. I’ve been an enrolled Republican since I was 18 years old and I can honestly say that I am proud to be one. Having said that, I can tell you that I will be turning 60 this year and I have been blessed with many friends and acquaintances, not all of which are Republicans. YES as hard as it may be for some to understand, I have friends that are the infamous BIG D, but they know that I am a Republican and they respect me for that, just as I respect them for their party affiliation.
In closing, I just want to say that maybe, just maybe, our country wouldn’t be in the financial condition that it currently is, if our elected officials would work together towards the common goal of doing what’s right for the people of our great country.
If anyone would like to speak to me, my name is Jimmy Bruno, I am the Town of Saugerties Deputy Supervisor, I am a Republican and proud of it, and I can be reached at home at (845) 246-5010 or on my cell phone at (845) 399-8577.
Why the gun resolution was amended
There is absolutely no argument that we need to work together to keep a tragedy like the one in Newtown, CT from ever happening again. I believe that any new laws need to approach the problem with better background checks, investing in mental health-care instead of cutting programs and to work in a practical way to keep guns out of the hands of the Adam Lanzas of the world. We won’t do it by passing unreasonable laws that infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens.
I’ve drawn criticism by some and thank you by others for introducing an amended version of the resolution opposing the safe Act. Let me make one thing clear: The reason I do not agree with sending a letter calling for total repeal is because it won’t happen. The law was passed by 70 percent of the Senate and Assembly, Republicans and Democrats and it would take two-thirds to repeal it. I don’t agree with how it was passed and I fully support the second amendment and every gun owner’s right to have any kind of gun they want. What I don’t support is the politicizing of this important issue. It’s important to all of us, no matter what your political party is. The amended resolution that I brought forward fully supports the rights of gun owners to keep and bear arms according to the second amendment. It supports “limiting the ability of those who might engage in frenzied killing to possess weapons built to inflict mass casualties” and I might also add to limit these individuals from obtaining any style weapon. This in no way suggests that gun owners need to worry about their guns becoming illegal. It also states that the law “engendered significant controversy over both the process by which it was enacted and certain provisions within it.”
What the safe Act does propose is stiffer penalties for crimes against first responders, like police, firemen and EMT’s. It also calls to make our schools safer, for instance replacing glass doors with steel doors. Our lawmakers in Albany have been made well aware that there is much work to be done on this law.
The modified resolution simply removed some of the inflammatory language and speaks for itself. It still supports the points of the original resolution with the exception of full repeal. As far as the criticism of Fred Costello, Leeanne Thornton and I, the charge is being led by the candidate hopefuls of the Republican Party that want to run for town office. This is all well and good, but run on the better ideas that you can bring to the table for the good of Saugerties and not just simply assassinating someone’s character. This whole Town Board believes in gun owner’s rights, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and that the law was passed too hastily. Forty-eight hours before the Town Board meeting on March 6, Kelly Myers told Leeanne Thornton that it wasn’t a town issue and didn’t even want to bring it up at the meeting. Either the day before or the day of the meeting, this resolution was given to Kelly and presented that night, unannounced to the rest of the board, for a vote and somehow [Town Board candidate] Bill Schirmer knows about it enough in advance so he could get members of the Highwoods Sportsman’s Club to attend the meeting.
An attempt was made by Mike Harkavy to meet with Bill Schirmer, Town Board members and members of the Club to discuss amendments, but was turned down. Kelly would have pushed that resolution through like a freight train that night if she could have and then has the nerve to say that she gave us two weeks to read it over. The fact is we had never seen it or even knew that it would be on the agenda. We were supposed to have a discussion last Wed. night on modifications. It’s on the agenda and you can see it on line, discussion it said, not motion. Kelly started the discussion off with a motion to approve her resolution and it was seconded. At that point, there was nothing to do except to amend her motion. Some discussion! She tries to pull a fast one and then writes in the paper how disappointed she is, please! I don’t know how much clearer I can be that I support gun owners’ rights and also support meaningful legislation to protect the public from gun violence.
Saugerties Town Board