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Putney charges Lightfoot playing politics with SAFE Act resolution


To The Editor:

Our board office was contacted on Friday the 31st of January with requests to remove the county seal from SAFE Act documents.

We didn’t have a meeting scheduled on Monday the 3rd so as chair of the Board I figured we should act on the request.

I didn’t want people to get the impression I was delaying a decision. Such accusations were made last year when I appointed a bipartisan committee that drafted a resolution that opposed numerous provisions of the SAFE Act.

I started to research the issue regarding the use of the county seal. As is standard practice with county level resolutions some of the language used in my resolution is “boilerplate.”

The use of common language is a demonstration of solidarity with other counties.

I presented a clean resolution which very clearly states “resolved that the Board of Legislators of St. Lawrence County does hereby deny the state of New York and any agency of St. Lawrence County Government permission to use the name, seal of the county, letterhead or address for purposes of correspondence with or notices to legal and registered gun owners regarding permit re certification or for other purposes associated with implementation or exercise of the NY SAFE Act.”

The resolution was distributed to all members of the legislature in a timely manner for their review and posted on the county website.

At the beginning of our meeting on Monday the 10th I asked that we move the county seal resolution to the beginning of the agenda so citizens who wanted to leave could after its passage.

Much to my surprise a well coordinated attack was about to begin. Legislator Joe Lightfoot accused me of upstaging him, stating that I knew he was going to bring forward a resolution.

When I started drafting my resolution, I didn’t know that Joe was going to bring a resolution. Legislator Lightfoot said he was “upset.” If he was so angry, I wonder why he didn’t contact me to talk about this before the full board meeting?

Why wasn’t I afforded the opportunity to see Mr. Lightfoot’s resolution when Legislator Kevin Acres had already seen it?

I tried to follow through with constituent’s requests and what I learned was that some people on Monday night weren’t as concerned with the 2nd Amendment as they were with politics.

I am a Democrat and apparently Democrats aren’t supposed to do anything with any resolutions regarding the 2nd amendment, much less without first consulting Joe Lightfoot, a Republican.

I still hold out hope that we are going to have more time to focus on governing and the people’s agenda because it is too early to be playing a political game of gotcha.

Jonathan Putney (D)

District 15

County Legislator, Lisbon

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