FREDONIA: Disagreements can be private

Fredonia Trustee Doug Essek has a right to his opinion. As does village Mayor Athanasia Landis. But calling out a fellow elected official in an election year looks downright petty.

Last Monday, Landis took Essek to task for being at a protest last month in Dunkirk regarding the future of Brooks Memorial Hospital. It is no secret that there has been some opposition in recent weeks regarding the board’s decision to move the facility from the city to the former Cornell Cooperative Extension site.

Landis lashed out at Essek for his actions. “I don’t know what is in your heart but in your position, visuals matter,” she said. “You were there not only supporting a move that could stop a $70 million investment in the village, but also giving them ammunition when you told them our sewer system was not adequate — which was, by the way, totally untrue.”

Essek was professional in his response, but this admonishment did not need to happen publicly. Fredonia’s leadership has turned a corner, so to speak. It seems to be communicating and working better together.

This outburst, however, was a step in the wrong direction. There’s no need for dirty laundry to be aired. It has the looks of dysfunction.

This issue, no matter who is right or wrong, would have been better handled in private.

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