In reading the article "Weedsport trustee resigns on anniversary of harassment claim filing," several issues went through my mind: Does the village, their attorney and their ethics committee not stand up and follow the Roberts Rules of Order for village board meetings? Does Mayor Jean Sardoodis think she is so far above reproach she does not have to recuse herself for matters that obviously involve her own family?
What Trustee Lukins was doing was politically correct and honorable and not one bit underhanded. He was attempting to follow Roberts Rules. He was harassed and bullied (stripped of his deputy mayor position) when he wouldn’t kowtow to the mayor’s demands. In all of this one person had integrity and attempted to have empathy for an employee who was involved in an obvious witch-hunt. For that one employee had the guts to stand up and tell the truth as to what was happening to her.
Unfortunately in New York, the only employees protected as whistleblowers are federal employees. Any other employee that stands up and tells the truth about anything in the workplace has absolutely no protection. Even if that person is sexually harassed, or violently harassed, or simply telling the truth about something they are not willing to go to jail for, knowing others are doing something illegally wrong.
What I do know keeping up on this and now reading Trustee Lukins has stepped down after 16 years of loyal service, which this issue has also cost him some health issues. It’s time for Weedsport and its voters to think about revamping that village board and replacing that mayor. Sometimes political positions get so entrenched they think they are demi-gods and do not have to be held accountable to those that voted them in. And be assured, I am not naive to realize that in such a small community as the village of Weedsport, everyone is related to everyone else, so the vicious circle will start all over again. Let’s just hope the bullying won’t continue. It doesn’t do justice to show the teens and children of the village that bullying is OK in the village offices and workplace.