There are shades of unintentional comedy to it, but it’s mostly just ugly and disrespectful behavior.
I refer to New Paltz mayor Jason West’s consistent rudeness to other members of the village board at their meetings. Why the other members of the board have not called him on it is a mystery.
Last night’s meeting offered another typical example of West’s loutishness.
During a discussion of the proposed zoning law to encourage “affordable housing,” for instance, West was not pleased to hear the sound of any voice but his own. As the four trustees offered their comments West loudly flipped the pages of his copy of the draft law, drummed his fingers on the tabletop, madly twirled his pen, and showed the general signs of rude impatience he routinely displays when other board members speak.
He was also nursing a cold, but his coughing became exaggerated as others tried to have their say.
West bears responsibility for his own actions, but the trustees are at fault, individually and as a group, for not putting a stop to it. Perhaps they are so inured to it that they no longer notice that it’s happening. None of them, however, shows West anything but due courtesy when he speaks.
It appears that West believes that being mayor means he talks, which he does most of the time, while his confreres listen. And when West does speak, his comments are delivered at the glib accelerated pace required to smooth over the gaps in logic and substance, and with a therapeutic intonation that hardly masks his aggressive hostility.