Critics Say They Feel Like They're Being Treated Like Kindergarteners

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. (1010 WINS) — Want to get yourself thrown out of a Peekskill City Council meeting? Start clapping.

After a series of boisterous meetings, Mayor Mary Foster is trying to bring decorum back to the chamber by banning clapping.

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“We’ve had to end meetings because the disruptions just became too unruly,” Foster said.

However, critics of the measure spoke with 1010 WINS’ Al Jones and said they felt like they were being treated like kindergarteners.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports From Peekskill

“If that was the only incident, it would be very different. But we’ve been receiving that kind of treatment consistently and this is just one little piece of that puzzle,” Jim Adler said.

Adler said the mayor and council are trying to silence anyone who doesn’t agree and he’s not happy about it.

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“The bullying and the lack of decorum when she and her leadership in Peekskill treat people with such disrespect,” he said, adding he would continue to attend the bi-monthly meetings and clap.

Tracy Breneman admitted that the meetings have become a bit loud, but doesn’t agree with the rule.

“They institutionalized this no clapping among other things, which is absolutely absurd,” she said.

Mayor Foster argued that the rule is just another attempt to get through meetings with less interruption, but critics in Peekskill were reading the Declaration of Independence in protest.

“You think that a no clapping rule is really going to make these issues go away?” asked community activist Darrel Davis.

The City Council voted unanimously to ban clapping on Sept. 12. In January, the council also eliminated a public comment session at the beginning of meetings.

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