9.18.20 - 10.6.20   vol. 16

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Town Meeting Opened with Eloquent Speech by Pelham Resident Tori Bowser

By Stephen E. Lipken


Pelham Town Supervisor Dan McLaughlin opened a virtual meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd immediately calling for Public Comment.


2013 Pelham Memorial High School graduate, Tori Bowser wrote an eloquent and moving speech entitled, “Pelham Stands with Me.” She began by sharing an emotional account on what growing up and living in Pelham as an African American was like for herself and her family. She also recounted Pelham resident Michael Schwerner’s death on June 21, 1964 at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. Tori’s entire speech follows this article.


At the conclusion of Bowser’s remarks, she suggested a Town Hall Forum to address the issues facing our nation and towns. McLaughlin asked if she represented an organization that could assume liability and that per the Governor’s ruling, gatherings are only limited to ten people.


Council members Kristen Bowes Burke, Tim Case, Maura Curtin; Town Counsel Thomas Kleinberger and Councilwoman Rae Szymanski agreed that a forum in Town House was a good idea. Szymanski also suggested including the mayors of the Village of Pelham and Pelham Manor. A live stream forum with a total of ten people present in the Town House, like the Memorial Day event was mentioned.


Case mentioned attending a Recreation meeting. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo, we will have some kind of summer camp,” Case averred. “We talked about groups of ten children for an hour and a half, spread out over different fields.” Case discussed virtual karate, exercise, soccer, theater arts and Escape Room programs.  Day camp with field trips may not be feasible because of busing.


There is no definite Court opening date but Burke noted that Justice Adam Kagan did a 3am virtual arraignment from his home.