Tonawanda News

Opinion

September 14, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Council ignored public on Vets Park plan

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The RFP for the Little League Drive development specifically stated no condo status. Which is exactly what Natale Builder got. Did any other developer have a chance to put in a proposal under those conditions? No. Would there have been other proposals if that major condition was known? Yes. I talked with a couple and so did Councilwoman Little. Favoritism? Certainly. Did the city get the best deal? We will never know.

And then there are simple things like fairness. Is it right for people who can afford homes priced from $180,000 to $300,000 to get 100 percent police protection, 100 percent fire protection, 100 percent school services, 100 percent snow plowing, but only pay 60 percent of city, school and county property taxes? No. Is it fair that people who own a $70,000 or $80,000 home may struggle to pay 100 percent of their taxes? No, it’s not. Sure, the new homeowners won’t get trash pick up from the city and will have to fill their own potholes. But that’s not where 40 percent of our taxes go.

Residents shouldn’t feel bad about their treatment before the council, however. The city’s school board has received the same treatment. The Tonawanda school board has expressed an interest in a few acres of the Vets Park land. Will the council vote on that request before it signs a contract with Natale? Probably not. It will just ignore them like it ignored a request for an official public hearing (not an informational meeting where nothing is recorded) to explore all ideas.

In the meantime the council hires an outside lawyer — so far the tab is near $20,000 — to negotiate a contract with no significant concessions and sell land for less than its worth to a developer who will make millions. Why would anyone question the council?

Roger Puchalski is a City of Tonawanda resident.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014