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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Town Council Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 14th

Westfield Town Council meetings are videotaped and replayed on cable channel TV36.  The replay schedule is listed here.  TFoTM asks: Why hasn't the 1-31-12 Town Council meeting been televised for public review?  Is Town government censoring what the public should see?
TV 36 Town Council Meeting Programming Schedule
M-W-F: 9:00am -11:00am, 3:00pm -5:00pm, 9:00pm -11:00pm   Sun: 9:00-11:00am

TFoTM is hopeful Mayor Skibitsky can keep his composure tomorrow night without engaging in his usual tactic of diversion from an issue.  His inability to refute facts provokes him to engage in an ad hominem defense when confronted with questions about public safety issues including a recent fatality on North Ave. and the 6th  motor vehicle accident on Central Ave. near the HAWK pedestrian activated crossing. 


Description of Ad Hominem

Translated from Latin to English, "Ad Hominem" means "against the man" or "against the person."
An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, his/her circumstances, or his/her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of "argument" has the following form:
  1. Person A (Westfield resident) makes claim X.
  2. Person B (Mayor Skibitsky) makes an attack on person A.
  3. Therefore A's claim is false.
The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).

How low will he go before he once again becomes a model of decorum and tranquility?


  1. maybe someone other than the town should tape tomorrow nights meeting and post it on the internet, since the mayor is clearly censoring any TV coverage that makes him look bad.

  2. What a bunch of misdirection rhetoric by digging up this obscure debating term. And YOU are committing the same Argumentum ad hominem against the Mayor right here. In this post, you attack HIM personally for using the ad hominem and not debating his stance on public safety.

    This is the second time you’ve accused him of this by doing the same thing you’re accusing him of yourself! If you don’t like this debating technique then stop using it!

    You’re the Hypocrite!

    1. Ad hominem is far from an obscure term. Ad hominem is a common distraction tactic by pundits on both sides, like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, etc. That you think it's some arcane term shows your ignorance. Sadly, the more people watch "debate" on TV, the less educated in logic (and fallacy) they become.

      Pointing out the fallacies in a person's argument is NOT an example of ad hominem. He's attacking the argument and NOT the man (in this case). It's rational, logical argument.

    2. Anonymous (AKA Kasko), you are attacking Skibitsky’s character for using Argumentum ad hominem. This has nothing to do with his opinion on public safety. Confine your comments to the quality of his argument. Stick to the topic!

    3. Anonymous AKA Kasko? No.

      The Fact of The Matter AKA Kasko? Yes

    4. So anytime a person commits a logical fallacy, in this case that he is sidestepping an argument and instead attacking his opponent, a person who points that out is also committing ad hominem?

      You're ridiculous. Pointing out an ad hominem is a criticism of the argument. It is not an attack on the person's character. By your logic, any attack of a person's argument also attacks the arguer and is therefore ad hominem. Sorry, you're wrong on this one. I am also not Greg Kasko. Why is it that every opponent of Kasko accuses his online supporters of being him? Is it because they have no facts to argue with?

    5. Any criticism or attack on a debater is argumentum ad Hominem. Now YOU are doing it by going outside of the issue being debated by calling the previous poster “ridiculous”.

      Don’t feel bad, everyone does it. It’s OK to admit it.

  3. The debate is over. Mayor Skibitsky has nowhere to go but to his own expert reports which this site has obtained and posted. He has no more credible answers. He won't produce his expert, and he has never provided any report that says the location of the mid-block crossing on Central Ave. is safer mid-block than at the corner. In fact, when asked what he has done to improve North & Tuttle and Central & Clover as recommended in his own expert's 2005 report identifying the two locations as pedestrian/motor vehicle hot-spots, he couldn't answer the obvious......nothing was done.

    Mayor Skibitsky resorts to attacking the messenger instead of the message or facts presented, thus committing the ad hominem fallacy.

    Thank you for your comment.

  4. Anyone can bring a camera in and film as long as they identify themselves beforehand so it can be noted in the minutes.

  5. Hey Andy
    What did it cost you to suppress channel 36....... hey channel 3636 hope whatever you got from Andy is worth your dignity and honor.....

  6. These are my comments in Westfield Patch:
    Max Kelleyy,
    I don’t know who you are but I was absolutely amazed when I read your comments even it is not a surprise. Approximately 20 people who has expressed their opinion against the crosswalk-traffic lights in the middle of Central Avenue for almost 1 year and a half, have been treated by the mayor, with disrespect and arrogance. Everything they asked or said received to the best the answer “that’s not true” or “this is your opinion”” “wrap up”. Is it possible that everybody in this town is a liar, and the only person “with integrity” is the mayor? He has not provided any expert, any document, favoring “the safest location" of the absurd project. By contrary, he, in his high” integrity”, has denied the truth, and simply tried to deceive the Westfield residents with untrue statements. The worst treated is Mr. Kasko who brought all kind of documents written by experts so he proved that the justice is on our side and not on the mayor’s. Almost as badly has been treated Maria Carluccio. Using the Westfield’ leader expression, It appears that the list of “the best trained pets that have been poked in the eye” for more than a year is extended now to other residents of this town including you. May be, the mayor wants to govern only over his council and we, “should move”, By the way. I voted for him. I would like to invite you, and all the residents who agree with us to come to the Concil meeting tonight and to say that.

    By the way, I never met Mr. Kasko and Maria C.before September 2010 at Council meetings. At that time I was alone. Now we are unexpectedly many. We are not family, party friends but they are God sent to me. And so are all the residents who came and voiced their opinion, not mine, against the "safest location" that became an accident trap. Thank you all.