The Cold Spring Board of Trustees draws too strict a boundary between ourselves and the rest of Philipstown, refusing to hear the input at public meetings from our neighbors who don’t live in the village.
The board views them as “outsiders,” but these are people who in some cases live just a few streets away, whose children attend Haldane and who walk to Main Street after school to see their friends, go to the Country Goose for candy and ride their bikes on side streets. Others are business owners, town residents who come into the village to grab a coffee, go to the grocery store, to work or simply to walk.
How can we say these families are not a part of the village? We need to think in terms of unity with Philipstown, not in terms of outsiders and residents. People who frequently come to the village want to invest in it and share their ideas. We are one town and we already share resources; we should be sharing and respecting one another’s voices as well.
I have proposed to my fellow trustees that we amend public comment rules so that Philipstown residents can be heard during Village Board meetings and no one is required to give their full address if they are not comfortable doing so. We are all part of one town and we should listen and learn from one another.
Heidi Bender, Cold Spring
Bender is a village trustee.