YORKTOWN, NY – For more than a decade the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce has hosted a debate for candidates vying for local political office. On Wednesday, the Chamber hosted the only debate for Yorktown voters but notably missing were Supervisor Ilan Gilbert, Town Clerk Diana Quast and their runningmates. Instead, reports have emerged that Gilbert and Quast were spotted in the audience of the New Castle League of Women Voters Debate rather than appearing on stage in the town they represent.
Yorktown Supervisor Candidate Matt Slater said, “Supervisor Gilbert’s refusal to participate in a dialogue about his record of raising taxes, foolish spending, stifling local business growth and forefiting state grants should tell Yorktown voters all they need to know. This was a great opportunity to answer questions from Yorktown residents and put forward my plan to give our community a fresh start.”
This is not the first time Supervisor Gilbert hid from a public debate hosted by the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce. In 2017 Gilbert pulled the same stunt, refusing an opportunity to debate, depriving voters of an opportunity to make an informed decision in the election. Now with history repeating itself voters are catching on to Gilbert’s games and voicing their disdain.
On Gilbert’s Facebook page resident Steve Schaefer called his behavior, “a slap in the face of Yorktown Voters.” He went on further saying, “…it was sad that anyone that came out looking to hear from the Democrats did not even get to hear or see their candidates in a debate forum. Regardless of your party, it is not right and is a shame.”
Yorktown Councilman Tom Diana said, “I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for standing firm in their belief that voters deserve an opportunity to hear from their elected officials and those running for office. Our opponents knew they could not uphold their slogan of ‘Getting it done’ because they have no record to run on. If their Party stops from them from going to a community debate we have to wonder who will really run the town if they are elected. Their behavior and disrespect towards Yorktown’s voters speaks volumes.”
Yorktown Councilman Ed Lachterman added, “I am proud of my record and service to our community and appreciate the opportunity to highlight it for Yorktown’s voters. This should have been an informative dialogue for members of our community to hear. Instead our opponents, who continue to opine that they are above politics, chose politics over doing the right thing for the people. It didn’t take long to expose them as political hypocrites and it is a scary thought to think about what they would do if actually elected.”
Yorktown Town Clerk Candidate Mary Capoccia stated, “The Town Clerk plays a pivotal role in ensuring town hall operates in a transparent manner. By avoiding this public forum my opponent proved her unwillingness to publicly stand before the voters. If she won’t stand for a simple statement how can we trust her to stand for taxpayers?”