ENDICOTT, NY – Some residents of Endicott are calling for Mayor Linda Jackson to resign following her behavior during a virtual village board meeting on Monday evening.
Jackson was seen during the nearly 6 hour Zoom call drinking from a wine glass from her home.
Residents say she and Trustee Eileen Konecny were giggling and laughing during some of the public comments and Jackson also turned off her web cam while concerned constituents were addressing the board.
Monday evening’s meeting featured the rest of the board voting to rescind a law enacted last year that critics say paved the way for a controversial battery recycling plant to be established on the Huron Campus.
Opponents of the project have been very critical of Jackson for her support of the project.
Jackson says she and Konecny were simply relieving the tension and that the wine glasses had juice in them.
“We got out wine glasses but there wasn’t wine in it. And we were kidding around because it’s very stressful to listen for a 5 and a half hour meeting or 6 hour meeting with a lot of nasty slanderous comments and I refuse to answer them. I feel people have a right to talk, they should not be argued with, whether it’s slanderous or not, I’m not going to argue with them because that’s not in the process. So, if I have to sit and listen to it, I’m going to sit there, relax, eat my dinner, because I don’t want to wait until midnight since I’ve been doing meetings all day. And we were kidding around,” says Jackson.
Jackson says that in retrospect, it wasn’t good judgment and that she won’t use wine glasses during a village Zoom meeting again.
Trustee Nick Burlingame says the impression that the Mayor was drinking wine created an awkward situation.
“The Mayor’s demeanor certainly indicated that she didn’t care what the residents had to say. She would be on Zoom video but then she would turn the video off as soon as public comment periods began. And the residents really felt offended. They were disappointed with the Mayor. And I hope we don’t see that again in the future,” says Burlingame.
Burlingame says the action the board took on Monday effectively killed the project proposed by SungEel MCC Americas.
Both Burlingame and Jackson say that now that the proposal is dead, they’re both eager to put it behind them and work together for the betterment of the village.
Jackson says the village is focusing on revitalizing the Avenue, securing an energy efficiency grant and instituting fees to insurance companies for EMT calls.
Burlingame says he and fellow trustees Pat Dorner and Ted Warner are about to unveil a 10 point plan to move the village forward.