New Paltz supervisor: comment about removing “Independence Day” from town celebration was “tongue-in-cheek”

Responding to the concerns of New Paltz residents, Town Supervisor Neil Bettez said last Thursday that his comment about removing references to Independence Day from this year’s town fireworks display — scheduled for Friday, June 30 — because it won’t even be held in the same month were a “tongue-in-cheek” response to this reporter’s not infrequent questions about scheduling it on the Fourth of July, which is always a holiday, and last year was even on a weekend. Town officials believe the mini-furor was incited by the headline, “New Paltz sets date for fireworks, scraps reference to Independence Day.”

Despite deep political divisions, Josh Honig told board members, “85% surveyed are proud to be American.” Honig oversaw the fireworks for some years, and acknowledged that he himself avoided the actual holiday due to cost concerns. He felt stripping it of the name would “delegitimize” efforts to push back against federal agenda items, although he also stressed that the fireworks themselves should be apolitical.

Mayor Tim Rogers, on hand for a joint meeting, called the online headline “clickbait.”


There are 3 comments

  1. MaryAnn

    Neil Bettez – New Paltz Town Supervisor: PUT THE VFW ON THE AGENDA!! dont “offer” them the community center, they already have a meeting place! They want YOU to listen to them. Youll “hear” your friends when they speak about the “silliyness” of the pledge from the safety of their meeting seat- but you wont hear the vets who fought on actual battle grounds about what it means to them??

  2. moving on out

    This is stupid – all the way around.
    The 4th of July happens regardless of who or who doesn’t want it.
    It happens on the 4th of July, not the first, second, third or 30th.
    It isn’t a political issue so everyone stop making it a political issue.
    If you DO, then YOU ARE THE PROBELM – so move on.
    Enough of this garbage.
    Instead – do what you’re PAID TO DO!!!
    Approve the critical new development proposals on the town’s docket.
    Pave Main Street.
    Get local business owners to fix, repair and upgrade the exteriors of their businesses.

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