TAGHKANIC – When a town official uses an anti-Semitic slur at a public meeting, word travels fast.
At last week’s Town Board meeting Art Griffith, the town’s elected tax assessor, said, “We Jewed them down.” Mr. Griffith said this during a discussion of a bill from a contractor he uses in his work. The remark triggered a wave of outrage from those present.
“Wait a minute,” protested Town Board Member Larry Kadish.
“He made a mistake,” said Town Supervisor Betty Young.
“It’s not a mistake, it’s a common phrase used all the time,” said Mr. Griffith, who did not apologize.
“I consider it an act of ignorance and pure prejudice,” said Mr. Kadish in a phone conversation the following week.
In a phone interview this week Supervisor Young said, “I didn’t like it. I put a stop to it. It was unfortunate. I am sure it won’t happen again. It should never have happened. As far as apologies are concerned, I don’t feel the board owes anyone an apology. That’s the end of it. I’ve known Mr. Griffith for many years, over 56 years, and I respect everyone’s religion. It’s going to stop here, it’s finished. It’s done.”
After the meeting Ms. Young did apologize to a several individuals who had been present at the meeting.