An Open Letter
To County Legislator Aney Paul
From Jeff Gillies
November 17, 2014
Dear Ms. Paul:
In 2011, you were elected to represent the people of district 14 in the Rockland County Legislature. In your campaign for that position, you stated “I believe the best way to serve all the people in my community is to represent them.”
In my opinion, representation would involve returning calls and emails from the people of Rockland County that reach out to you in order to hear your opinions on issues. In my opinion, representation means that you would take time to listen to your constituents, form your positions and make them known.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve left you phone messages through the legislative office and sent emails directly to your listed address of PaulA@co.rocklnad.ny.us.
You have not responded.
Perhaps you don’t have the time to return all the phone calls and emails that you receive? I can understand that. Serving on the legislature is a part-time job. You have a career as a nurse that I’m sure is very demanding of your time. You have a family. Maybe I caught you in the middle of busy stretch?
However, it isn’t just me that you’re ignoring.
I know of two individuals that have been publicly stating that they have been trying to reach you for months with no response. I spoke to both of them and neither of them can understand why you continually ignore them. Your lack of response appears to be the standard, rather than the exception. That is unacceptable, Ms. Paul; you sought out and accepted the responsibility to represent the people of your district, and part of that responsibility is responding to the people who reach out to you.
In light of this, I decided to talk to some more people about the representation that you provide. To your credit, you are well-liked as a person. Almost every person I spoke with started their response to my questions by stating that you are very nice, friendly and likeable.
Unfortunately, it goes downhill from there.
The people I spoke to in the Nanuet Civic Association stated that you attend the meetings regularly, but that you don’t voice any opinions on the matters that are discussed. You listen, but that is far as it goes.
Likewise, I spoke to people with extensive knowledge of the county legislature, and was told the same thing. Attendance isn’t a problem, but I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me anything of value that you’ve brought to the table. So, I went online to try to find out what your positions are and what you’ve been doing.
I found out that you adopted a road for cleanup and spoke at a health fair.
You have a facebook page that is mostly unused. Your legislative news letters are nothing more than fluff. What have you done as a legislator? Why aren’t you putting your opinions out there to the people? In the age of the internet and social media, this is completely indefensible.
I’ve been reaching out to you to find out where you stand on the proposed zoning change in the Town Of Ramapo that would allow for high density housing to be built in Ramapo near the Clarkstown border. It isn’t in your district, but close enough that you should care. The people deserve to know where you stand on this.
Please let me know. Your silence is deafening!
[Picture Credit: NewCityPatch.com]