Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Letter to the Editor: Mayor Drew's New Degree Questionable

To the Editor:
The June 1 article in the Middletown Press,"Middletown mayor earns degree from Columbia," creates questions that in the spirit of full disclosure, the mayor needs to respond to.
While we certainly laud the mayor, or any person, for working diligently to obtain a degree in higher education, the position of mayor does bring about unique challenges to attending an out-of-state university.
City Charter declares that a voluntary temporary vacancy in the office of the mayor may occur in the following manner: "Notification by the Mayor to the Deputy Mayor and the Council of a temporary vacancy." At no time over the past year did the mayor declare a vacancy in office to attend classes.
By Drew's own admission in the article, he states that: "he was not required to be in New York City, where the university is located on a weekly basis, and when he was needed in classes, wasn't all that far to travel." As mayor, the responsibility of the City of Middletown and the management of our community is his only priority.
 This responsibility exists for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By his own admission, he did attend classes in New York City. The commute from Middletown to New York City is approximately two hours and over 100 miles. How many times did he leave the City of Middletown to attend to classes during the week?
Did he drive the city-issued vehicle? Did he take time off without pay to attend these classes? Why, as has been the practice with other mayors who traveled out of state, did he not declare a temporary vacancy in office?
We hope that the mayor responds to these questions in a forthright manner and provides full disclosure to the community about the particulars of the challenges that exist for a sitting mayor to attend an out-of-state university.
William Wilson
Vice Chairman
Middletown Republican Town Committee

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