To the editor:
I am responding to a rather curious letter published in last week’s Gazette concerning the 12/8 information meeting for Harmon property owners by an “Eileen Henry”. I attended this meeting along with fellow residents and other officials. For the record:
a) While “25 people” were indeed present at this meeting, this number largely consisted of members of the Economic Development Committee, the Village Board (Mr. Olver was absent), and a few residents. According to village staff, more than three dozen letters were sent to property and business owners in the Harmon area. However, less than a handful attended.
b) Not one, repeat not one, property owner present stated any support of the re-zoning proposal. Although there was an exchange of ideas, the fact is that property owners were at best skeptical of the alleged benefits. (The one property owner that did seem “open” to the idea quickly decided otherwise when someone pointed out that his taxes “would only go up” upon re-assessment.) Indeed, the Harmon proposal was described as “unrealistic”, “fantasy-driven” and a “dream”. Instead, property owners cited the need for tax breaks, that the parking scenario envisioned under the Harmon proposal “would not work”, that “banks are not lending money”, that “three stories would not be profitable”, etc.
I do not know what meeting Ms. Henry attended that was the subject of her letter to the paper. However, it was not the Harmon information meeting that occurred on December 8th.
In the words of Mr. Palladino that night, owner of the Dodge property, the committee is “trying to sell a dream”. That’s not surprising given Trustee Gallelli’s published commentary on May 26, 2008:
“We want to get the public to buy into this for support of the zoning changes.”
On, December 8th, both Trustee Gallelli and the committee, who strangely chose not to televise this meeting to the public, rang up yet another “No Sale” instead.