Ms. Siegel has become unpopular with those who govern Yorktown, a town of about 40,000 residents that has significant legal bills. According to the local newspaper:
Councilman Matthew Metz, an attorney, said the town must defend all lawsuits against it vigorously and regardless of merit. “No one can control who sues the town,” Metz said, “but we can make sure we protect the town’s interests.”
Siegel believes that the town would be better managed, and perhaps be less vulnerable to lawsuits, if it had a town manager. She heads up a committee to change the town’s governance to allow for that.
One of the lawsuits Yorktown defended itself against was filed by Siegel after the town denied a New York Freedom of Information Law request. They lost, had to give her the documents, and paid $6,000 to an attorney. Although town father Matthew Metz may be correct that the town has to defend itself vigorously against any and all lawsuits, perhaps it could have saved the $6,000 by just giving Siegel the documents it ended up giving her anyway.
The town is now charging Siegel $.25/copy when she asks for documents.
Siegel, in a line that could be used by STOTWs everywhere, says:
“Yes, I’m a thorn, but all I’m doing is exercising my rights, and what’s interesting is the information I’m finding out is not complimentary to the town. If government is not spending our money wisely, we have a right to find out.”