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This afternoon, in a moment of quiet at work, I snuck a quick peek at my personal email and noticed one from the city of Rye titled: AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MAYOR JOE SACK. The all caps subject line was click bait; I couldn’t resist. 

I wish I had. I really didn’t need the cortisol spike.

In a nutshell, the mayor used a publicly owned communications channel to launch into a very personal attack on a fellow public servant, Assemblyman Steve Otis. He clearly wanted to share his opinion of the back-and-forth over the Disbrow Park initiative (and related purchase of public land across from Rye Country Day School). Unfortunately, any message he hoped to convey was obscured by vitriol and character assignations. To have our mayor use a public channel to conduct such a personal attack is absolutely disgraceful. 

The fact is, communication from the mayor about the Disbrow Park initiative (and related purchase of public land across from Rye Country Day) has been spotty at best. I am floored he felt slinging mud at a fellow public servant would be more productive than calling the community to an open forum in which we could all discuss the matter more productively.

We as a community deserve a more civil (and sane) level of discourse. People are going to disagree on things from time to time — that’s life. But if we cannot — or will not — find ways to discuss differences without resorting to personal below-the-belt blows, we all lose.

Mayor Sack ought to be ashamed of himself. He owes a huge apology to his constituents for violating their trust and to Assemblyman Otis for maligning his character.

— Sarah Welch


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