I am writing in support of Kelly Myers’ candidacy for town supervisor and writing against the diabolical rhetoric that is being spread around by candidate Gaetana Ciarlante. Much has been made of Myers’ residence in the village on the Esopus Creek and her family’s long successful history in the Kingston-Saugerties-Woodstock area. Myers’ career is emblematic of the philosophy of the Republican Party. It might surprise some that Myers lived in a very small house in Woodstock for more than a decade while both she and her husband started their careers. Myers is my second cousin through my father. Our great-grandparents were immigrants from Ireland and settled in Kingston. Our great grandparents raised over seven children on a laborer’s earnings.
There are some who have charged Myers with nepotism. Those accusations are unfounded, the evidence based on gossip and are just plain ridiculous. That being said, just because Myers is my part of my family does not mean I agree with every decision she has made. The water meter situation really incensed my libertarian politics. I wish Myers had pushed back on federal government policy similar to Senator Rand Paul’s fight against the EPA, but she is much more moderate in her politics than I.
Participating in this American democracy means doing so responsibly. While I agree with some of Ciarlante’s ideas as they resemble libertarian ideas, I cannot consider her because her political rhetoric is incredibly disrespectful and is also, I feel, damaging to the democratic process. I have yet to hear a clear articulation of her ideas for Saugerties that are devoid of negativity. Her debasement of other candidates is not even about their politics but mostly about their personal lives. How is that type of behavior beneficial to the democratic process and to Saugerties?
For me, what was the most disrespectful of Ciarlante’s rhetoric was her calling Myers a “tyrant” and “dictator” and demanding a “regime” change. Firstly, Ciarlante clearly lacks a historical understanding of those terms because if she did, she would not use them so loosely and with such underhand. While throwing those terms around might get Ciarlante attention, she greatly disrespects those who have suffered under real tyranny and dictatorship. Living in Saugerties with Kelly Myers as supervisor is not the same as living in South Africa under apartheid. While it can be argued that totalitarian elements have been creeping up in governments worldwide, I have yet to see Myers set up containment camps like America did for the Japanese during WW2. Members of my family survived the Holocaust, and I would urge Ciarlante to educate herself on the history of tyranny and dictatorships. I welcome her to listen to the testimony of my uncle, Anton Mason, on YouTube. After surviving Auschwitz, he came to the US at 17 with nothing and died in a large house off the coast of Florida. Another success story emblematic of Republican philosophy.
This is just one of scores of letters in this week’s paper. Pick it up on newsstands from 10/17-10/23