by David McClung, Cayuga

Mayor Ken Hewitt’s claim on the Sachem’s website that “the mayor’s office, along with myself, is always open to having a conversation with anybody” rings hollow in my ears, especially when he then goes on to say that “when an email comes in with 60 or 70 people attached to it, it’s no longer a conversation, it’s a statement.”

Here’s my experience of Mayor Hewitt’s ‘conversation’ with the citizens of Cayuga: 

he completely ignores advice from experts, or refuses even to let them speak to him;

he refuses to pay any attention to a public opinion poll with better methodology and a much larger sample size than anything the County has ever done;

he declines to acknowledge a petition with two thousand signatures;

he bans certain persons from speaking to Council;

he refuses to even acknowledge―let alone respond to―concerns about the Cayuga streetscaping fiasco;

and he consistently responds to e-mails with a “Mayor Automated Response” ensuring correspondents that their e-mails will be answered—but then never gets back to them!

Hewitt’s interaction with the citizens of Cayuga is not a conversation at all, but it sure is a statement. And I, for one, hear that statement loud and clear: Hewitt doesn’t care one whit about the citizens of Cayuga. They are merely pawns to be sacrificed in some political game where only the kings and queens matter.