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Patrick Taylor Highlands Mayor

A citizen contacted me and asked why I stopped writing my Mayor On Duty column? I responded that I hadn’t stopped and that I had been writing it every week for the last eight years.  He responded that it had not appeared in the Highlander Newspaper for the past two weeks. I said he must be mistaken, that the editor probably placed it where he didn’t notice it.  I normally do not read my columns in the papers so I hadn’t noticed any changes.

This past Saturday I decided to check the current Highlander. To my surprise my column was not in the paper.  My initial thought was that there must have been a glitch in the email system, that the editor didn’t get the column.  When that infrequently happens, editors of the newspapers begin contacting me Tuesday afternoon about whether I am sending a column before the late evening deadline.  No contact about a missing column had been sent.

So on Saturday afternoon I contacted the Highlander about why my column had not been published for the past two weeks.  I was told that since I was a candidate for reelection the Highlander administration staff had decided to stop running my columns.  

I embarrassingly contacted my friend to let him know why he had not seen the column in the newspaper.  I accept the decision of the Highlander not to continue my column during this election season.  I will say, I have written the column every week for all these years in the spirit of keeping the public informed about what is happening in town government.

Now if other news sources, newspapers or the radio station, want to stop running my columns and programs during the election season, that will be fine with me.  Or, if they want to edit anything I say that they think is electioneering, the media has carte blanche.  I simply request that they inform me of their decisions.

Tonight [Thursday] is the September meeting of the Highlands Town Board of Commissioners. It will start at 7 p.m. by way of ZOOM. The access information for the meeting will be available on the town website.  The meeting will begin with public comment. This agenda is not very long, and I hope we can complete all business with in a normal period of time.

I am cancelling the Community Coffee with the Mayor series for the remainder of the year.  The Hudson Library has done a wonderful job of organizing these informal public meetings.  During the pandemic the coffees were suspended.  I resumed the in-person meeting at the library earlier in the summer.  Given the current spread of COVID, I think it is in the best interest for the public to not to continue these sessions until we see a significant decrease in the virus spread.