It’s been said that all politics is local. Here’s a corollary: All local politics is personal, especially at election time.
Such appears to be the case in the Town of North Castle.
You would think that politics would have nothing to do with honoring the memory of a beloved citizen, a woman who served on the Town Board for more than three decades and by all accounts personified the virtue of civic mindedness.
Becky Kittredge, who died Aug. 26 at the age of 69, was instrumental in getting the town recreation center built. She was a founder of the public library and was a devoted member of the historical society.
Machiavellian-style mischief does not readily come to mind upon consideration of the fact that Kittredge was instrumental in getting the hamlet of Armonk recognized, of all things, as the hometown of Frosty the Snowman.
A Democrat, Kittredge was born in North Castle. She knew everybody and apparently offended no one.
So once again, given her universal acclaim, it’s hard to fathom that Kittredge could be posthumously dragged into a partisan arena.
But that’s precisely what happened — and it has caused a huge outcry in this town of 11,840. And like all partisan disputes, it’s the “other guys” who are to blame.
From interviews and emails, it’s at least clear that the controversy centers on a split decision by the Town Board to not broadcast Kittredge’s memorial service on the town’s public service channel, NCTV. The service was held Friday on the steps of Town Hall.
The board’s decision arrived after an informal discussion and polling conducted through email by Anne Curran, the Democratic town clerk.
Against the broadcast were three Republicans — town Supervisor Howard Arden and Councilman John Cronin and Councilwoman Diane DiDonato Roth. Their reasons included the cost of paying for a videographer and an unelaborated feeling that broadcasting the service was somehow inappropriate.
However, Councilmen Stephen D’Angelo, a Republican, and Michael Schiliro, the board’s sole Democrat, were in favor of the broadcast.