ENFIELD, N.Y. —Enfield Town Supervisor Beth McGee submitted her letter of resignation to the board during its Wednesday, March 11 meeting board meeting. Taking effect on April 30, McGee was adamant her decision to resign was not due to the recent controversy the board has found itself embroiled in over the pledge of allegiance.
“Spending the first two months of this session hearing people bicker about the pledge of allegiance combined with the fact that (board member Bob Lynch) seems to only be there to try to slow things down, it’s fine if that is what people want to have happen, but it’s not an environment that my skills are best used in,” McGee told The Voice Thursday.
Instead, McGee said her time will best be served focusing on her new job as executive director of the Finger Lakes section of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“I have a new job that is really important to me and I am very excited. I like to do the things I do well, very committed, and I didn’t think I could do both together at the same time as well as I would like to,” McGee said.
McGee said that while the pledge of allegiance issue became a distraction, she does not regret that the issue came up.
“I value protest and I appreciate when people engage and they did engage on this issue,” McGee said.
McGee added that the board even entertained a resolution introduced by Lynch that would have made it a requirement that the supervisor stand and say the pledge.
“I felt that would be like North Korea,” McGee said.
The resolution proposed by Lynch did not pass.
“I know how to detach and I understand politics, I don’t take it personally, I just feel most effective when we can all work together for progress and when I did not sense that happening, I was happy to let go and let someone else do it. There are lots of different points of view and that is what local government is all about,” McGee said.
McGee said that she is proud of her time as supervisor and that she pushed for a culture of inclusivity and transparency.
“My time on the board the last year has been pretty prolific, we have gotten so much work done as a board. They were a very effective group and I am very proud of them.”
As to the future, McGee said that she remains fond of Enfield and hopes for the best.
“I hope the community can continue to move forward in a positive way without being strangled in their efforts. There is a long way to go for this unique, little community.”
The pledge of allegiance issue became a hot-button topic when the board passed a motion earlier this year to remove the Pledge of Allegiance from being said at the beginning of town council meetings. The decision angered many in the community, whom McGee described as a vocal few, resulting in a compromise where every meeting agenda would include language inviting those in attendance to say the pledge during public comments.
“This particular issue is not why I am resigning, it’s the time and place being right and my need to be effective in places that are important to me… I am going to be doing work that is impactful for people like myself and my family,” McGee said.
Featured image courtesy of Vaughn Golden