There ought to be a law that prohibits naming public spaces after living politicians. Those spaces belong to all of us — not just to the political party that happens to be in power at that particular time. Turning public spaces into advertisements for a political brand is reprehensible and undemocratic.
For a case in point, consider the actions of the all-Democrat Niskayuna Town Board after Democrat Supervisor Joe Landry, a 10-year incumbent, was booted out of office last November by Republican Yasmine Syed, a political newcomer. She left him in the dust more than 500 votes behind. Yet, the Town Board’s reaction was to vote to rename the town’s ball fields after him. What a travesty. That land is community property — not Democrat (or Republican) property.
Syed swamped Landry by an official tally (provided by the Schenectady County Board of Elections — a very helpful outfit) of 3,774 to 3,021. These results are even more impressive when you consider the fact that registered Democrats in Niskayuna outnumber registered Republicans by 6,287 to 4,044.
The fact that Landry’s two running mates on the Democratic ticket won re-election to the Niskayuna Town Board makes it clear that voter dissatisfaction was aimed directly at him. So the vote was not against a particular party. It was a vote against a particular person (and for a strong opponent). To then affix his name to a public space defies logic and fair play.
Peter Van Avery
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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion