Resolution By Seneca Falls Town Supervisor To End Women’s Hall of Fame Funding Fails

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Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – A resolution to end funding for the Women’s Hall of Fame if Jane Fonda was inducted failed to pass a Seneca Falls Town board meeting Tuesday night.  But that was only after over an hour of passionate debate between Hall supporters and Vietnam Veterans on the actresses actions in the 1970’s.

Last week Town Supervisor Greg Lazzaro proposed a resolution, which would end town financial donations for events associated with the Hall, because of Fonda’s nomination.

Vern Brewer was one of the many Vietnam Veterans who were at the meeting to protest the nomination of Fonda. They say seeing her travels to North Vietnam during the war were disrespectful, and says the hall should honor more women connected to the war.

Seneca Falls town boardCREDIT CAITLIN WHYTE / WXXI NEWS

Brewer was standing with Ken Lisk, a fellow veteran who called Fonda a “war mongerer.”

“I watched her in North Vietnam when I was in South Vietnam; it was not a good picture.”

But there were supporters of the hall as well, many who said the town doesn’t have a place to decide who does or doesn’t get inducted.

Susan Souhan from Seneca Falls supports the hall of fame.

“I am here also to support our veteran’s because they fought in a war that most people did not like but they did what their government told them to. And I have nothing against the vets, I just think what our town supervisor has done is unfair to the hall. “

Jill Byington, holding a sign of support says the hall of fame is “A place for the world, it’s not a place for just this town.”

In the end, the resolution failed with three votes against it, one vote by the town supervisor in favor, and one board member who opted not to vote.

CREDIT CAITLIN WHYTE / WXXI NEWS

Former President of the Hall Betty Brayer said she was relieved, but says the meeting just showed a need for more communication between the hall and the town.
“There’s a lot of history and emotion in the room, and one of the things that struck me was how much dialogue is missing.”