Brighton Town Clerk Susan Kramarsky apologized Wednesday night to the Town Board and the community for an off-hand remark she made at the previous board meeting. She was caught on camera saying, "Can you shoot him? I'll take responsibility" to former Brighton police chief Thomas Voelkl in reference to resident Mordechai Rennert.
Brighton Town Clerk Susan Kramarsky opened Wednesday’s Town Board meeting by apologizing to the Town Board and the community for an off-hand mark she was caught making at the board’s previous meeting.
“I would like to apologize to you, the Town Board, and to our community,” Kramarsky said. “I am tremendously sorry about this mistake and my commitment to you and to the community is to do my best in the future.”
The remark was directed at Brighton resident Mordechai Rennert after he asked questions during the June 23 Town Board meeting. Once Rennert left the podium, Kramarsky leaned towards former Brighton police chief Thomas Voelkl and whispered, “Can you shoot him? I’ll take responsibility.” Voelkl did not respond.
The comment was not audible to those in the room that night, but those watching it on Brighton cable access were able to hear it clearly, as Kramarsky’s microphone was on.
During Wednesday’s open forum, Rennert, who is calling for Kramarsky’s resignation, accepted the apology. Fellow Brighton resident Carrie M. Paddock shared Rennert’s sentiment.
“Although I appreciate your apology, I believe nothing less than a resignation is acceptable,” she said. “If this comment were made in a school environment, such as Brighton High School, it would be locked down and the student would be expelled. Police would be called. What example has Ms. Kramarsky set for the youth in Brighton?”
Supervisor Sandra Frankel defended the clerk, responding that Kramarsky should not be required to resign.
“I’m hoping that everyone will come to realize that this was an unfortunate inappropriate remark that was a mistake and we’ll be able to move forward,” Frankel said.
Before Kramarsky’s remark, Rennert questioned a proposed law that would allow the town to hire a second deputy receiver of taxes who does not live in the town. He was surprised when he first learned what Kramarsky said.
“I was asking questions that were related to the Town Board meeting and the going-ons in the town,” said Rennert who ran for Town Board in 2009 and said he plans to run again next year. “Just the fact that they were taken in such a personal fashion — I was shocked.”
Kramarsky called the comment “a throwaway” or “misspeaking.” She originally told the Brighton-Pittsford Post the remark was spurred by Rennert’s comment on affordable housing. However, the tape showed the affordable housing comment came after her remark.