By Rita Foran Guest columnist
July 19, 2020
Press & Sun Bulletin, Binghamton NY, page A11.
After being called out for liking a “White Lives Matter” Facebook post, Endicott Mayor Linda Jackson and Deputy Mayor Cheryl Chapman issued an apology, claiming “we have listened and learned.”
On this matter, they also “sought advice from community groups and educators with experience in diversity and anti-racism education.” This is what they should have done before they took office. It seems that they only want to “listen and learn” when they are in hot water.
There is a double standard, though, when it comes to the matter of the lithium battery incinerator. Endicott residents have done a much more thorough job of researching the SungEel facility, yet these two women don’t want to “listen and learn” from them. Among those who shared their expertise is a Ph.D. They never consulted Endicott community groups or educators with expertise about these batteries.
Meetings and public hearings, held online, exclude input from residents, including those without technology, and the handicapped, for whom no accommodations have been made. Jackson shuts down input and refuses to answer questions from a trustee.
In their apology, many names are dropped — experts in their field — yet Jackson’s so-called “experts” whom she consulted about the battery incinerator remain nameless.
Will the residents of Endicott get an apology for being dismissed, ignored and belittled? Will there be apologies for lowered property values or illnesses or pollution caused by toxic emissions from the battery facility?
And, please, tell us how taking workshops will bring “healing and understanding” to Endicott? I would like to be educated.
Since these two public officials only “listen and learn” when their jobs are on the line, it’s time to step aside and let someone who truly cares about Endicott and all its residents govern the village.
Rita Foran is an Endicott resident.
SungEel’s Lithium-ion battery recycling operation that will use incineration in its process in Endicott, NY.