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Vote Bennett for change

Published 8:52pm Saturday, September 8, 2012

To the editor:

It is time for change in the local government of Suffolk. In order for the climate in the city to improve, the change must begin at the very top of the ladder, in the office of mayor.

The mayor is the leader of the city government, the one who sets the tone that in turn influences the attitude and outlook of others on City Council. Generally, if the mayor embraces a policy of transparency, inclusiveness and respect for all citizens, those on council tend to follow that trend.

However, if the mayor exhibits a preference for closeted proceedings, retaliatory practices against those who dare offer legitimate criticisms and a tendency to exhibit an attitude of contempt, unconcern and disrespect for the general public, then that attitude often permeates the entire council.

Even in cases where some members may feel these practices are not ethically or morally acceptable, there often exists a tendency to just “go along to get along.”

It takes a person of strong character to be able to stand under the withering pressure of a group that is constantly referred to as the “team” and to demonstrate, by personal example, that he was not voted into office by his constituents to be a “team player,” but as an independent thinker, a voice for the people who put him there to represent their best interests.

Leroy Bennett has exhibited the strength of character that enables him to stand for what he believes, even if it means standing alone. I have personally observed his actions and demeanor during many council meetings, and I have never failed to be impressed with his display of respect and concern for those who do not have an opportunity to speak on their own behalf.

One such issue has been the levying of the enormous recycling tax of $17.50 per month on the shoulders of city residents. Councilman Bennett, realizing that many of the constituents in his borough and, indeed, the city, would find it a financial burden to come up with the additional “blue trashcan tax” each month, stood bravely and voted against that fee.

His fears of the financial burden this onerous tax would inflict on many citizens proved to be founded. Many seniors on fixed incomes, as well as young families struggling to make ends meet, have beseeched him to diligently seek some measure of relief in this area.

He has committed to revisit this issue in order to seek a means of relief for many in Suffolk who are experiencing hardships due to this tax, if he is elected as mayor.

These are a few of the reasons I will vote for Leroy Bennett for mayor on Nov. 6.

Mamie Martin-Ross

  • Chris

    I was at first impressed with Councilman Bennett when he took his personal time to look into the issue my neighbors and I were having with a developer. I was less impressed when he failed to tell us that he had recieved money from the same developer. During our battle with the developer and the City Councilman Bennett had the opportunity to side with the citizens against the actions of the Mayor and the “Team”, instead he remained silent. Real change is neccessary.

    Suggest Removal

  • Lovebug

    For me the reason I will NOT vote for Bennett is the way he acted/acted out during the map issue. The fact that he turned it from what it was to an all out racial issue put a very bad taste in my mouth for both Mr. Bennett and his wife. NEVER in all the years I have known Mr. Bennett and his Wife have I ever known or picked up on racial thoughts or finger pointing. During this process not only did “he” turn the racial clock but his wife openly spoke race into the issue. No where in politics should race be the front and center and they both made it very clear during this time that race would play a large part in their run for any political seat. Sorry but thats just how I feel and this comes from someone who has always voted for Mr. Bennett.

    Suggest Removal

  • Sea

    But Bennett is on council now, for a real change the incumbents need to be voted out.

    Suggest Removal

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