HERKIMER, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees in the Village of Herkimer was a highly anticipated event; however, residents were not presented with the same meeting format they were previously accustomed to.
The last meeting, held on February 21st, was filled with quite a bit of back and forth between Mayor Dana Sherry and residents speaking during the public comment period.
However, at this week’s meeting, it was announced that there would be no direct response from the board once a resident was done speaking.
“This is for public statement, so there’s no conversation during this time,” announced Mayor Sherry, “Thank you.”
Many residents stood up and requested apologies from the mayor for a variety of reasons, but one main point was the surprise executive session at the beginning of the meeting that ran until 7:30; meaning the over 40 people in attendance had to sit and wait, including Assemblyman Robert Smullen, who was in attendance for the first time.
“I would ask that in the future if you have…if you’re gonna go into an executive session, if we have people here like our assemblyman, who’s come to see everyone, perhaps we might want to defer that, you know, that executive session until someone like this can be introduced to all the people here,” said Charles Crandall, Village of Herkimer resident.
“I just think it would be polite not to go into executive session when we have public officials here who crisscross however many counties, villages, towns,” he said, “That’s the only comment I have tonight.”
There was also a call for an explanation regarding a callous comment made by Mayor Sherry at the last meeting.
When Mayor Sherry was asked why there were elevated tree stumps in front of the public library, she responded:
“So the drug addicts don’t fall over them in the winter.”
Not only did this comment stun the crowd on the night of February 21st, but also resulted in yet another apology request from a concerned resident.
“I find myself hoping that you are more often concerned for the elderly person walking to the library to get their next book club read, or for the groups of children on their way to story hour,” said Philomena Lumia, Village of Herkimer resident.
She continued, “Since the mayor’s appalling statement, I have read numerous expressions of outrage. This disease of addiction, and those who suffer from this disease, should not be the subject of immature, mean girl comments. Most unbecoming of an elected official.”
“Most everyone from village employees to your constituents, their families, and friends have been, or are still affected in some way, by addiction. I would like to encourage the mayor to give an apology as publicly as was her insensitive remark.”
Mayor Sherry then responded with, “thank you.”
The rest of the night included the passing of a few unrelated resolutions and concluded with yet another, unplanned and unexplained executive session.
Eyewitness News will be at every Village of Herkimer meeting, so be sure to keep up with us for the latest information on this saga.