Thursday, February 28, 2013

If Vaughn Steele had been some Rich, White Guy's Son, would Penfield, NY Town Supervisor Sandra Zutes Care Then?

Pittsford, NY Town Supervisor
Sandra Zutes
By Davy V.
Posted Friday March 1, 2013 1:39 a.m.

On Monday, January 28th, Vaughn Steele, a 26-year old African-American, Penfield, NY resident was struck and killed by a car as he was waiting for a bus on East Avenue.

The driver of that vehicle, 30-year old Michael Hanna, a white man, never stopped after hitting Vaughn, and in fact, only contacted police after he saw television news reports about his hit and run.

Hanna came up with a quick, and extremely lame excuse and told police that he thought he had hit a garbage can.

While initially saying that there would be no charges filed in the incident, the Monroe County, NY Sheriff's department decided to charge Hanna with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving an unregistered vehicle.

Vaughn Steele
After Vaughn's death, several town residents expressed their concern about safety on that stretch of East Avenue, where there are no sidewalks.

A local television news reporter brought those concerns to Penfield Town Supervisor Sandra Zutes, who, by her response, it's clear that she doesn't care about a young back man who was hit and left to die alone, on the side of a dark road.

Here's the exchange between the reporter and Supervisor Zutes.

Reporter: “What do you say to those people who are calling for a, specifically those who are calling for a sidewalk to be added?

Pittsford Supervisor Zutes: “Well, we've been working on sidewalks for a good long time.”

Reporter: “Do you agree that this may be a dangerous road for maybe pedestrians or cyclists.”

Zutes: “Ever road is dangerous. This was a tragic accident.”

Reporter: “Would sidewalks add to the safety of it?”

Zutes: “Sidewalks would add to the safety of any road.”

Reporter: “Do you have a direct response for these people who say the road is unsafe?

Zutes: “Do i have a direct response? We are working on sidewalks.”

Reporter: “What does that exactly mean?”

Zutes: “We've done a preliminary plan that was started last year.”

Zutes then added that the stretch of road on East Ave. where Vaugh Steele was killed, is a state road, and that any project will have to be approved by the state.

Supervisor Zutes said the whole project could take years, before making sure to add that while the ball is rolling to get this plan going, it will be expensive.

Zutes: “We are talking about possible 10,000 linear feet which is a little less that two miles. I think they have that being somewhere about $620,000, for one side of the street.”

Reporter: “Who pays for that?”

Zutes: “That would be the taxpayers.”

Pittsford Town Supervisor Sandra Zutes said the project could anywhere from 2 to 5 years.

Something tells me that if Vaughn Steele had been white, and if his father were some rich, powerful guy, Pittsford, NY Town Supervisor Sandra Zutes would NOT be nonchalant, and I'd bet money that Zutes along with other politicians would make sure the ground alongside East Avenue would be dug up and sidewalks would be laid down quicker than you could say 'Money Talks!'

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