owner voices opinion on ads
To the Editor:
I am thoroughly disgusted with the Fishkill Democrats' recent advertisement for its Town Board candidates. Weaponizing linguistics, and using false terminology such as "fighting New York City Developers" have no place in our community's civic dialogue.
For the record, my family has been part of this community since the 1970s. My dad opened up Gino's Cafe on Route 52 in 1971. My beloved sister, Linda, moved here to run it, and I worked there while attending the Culinary Institute of America. Today, I own a second home in Fishkill, and reside in Westchester. I have deep roots in Fishkill, and love this community.
I have owned the land at the I-84/Route 9 intersection since 1986. The implications that I'm a NYC developer here to tuck tail, and turn a quick profit is false. The Town Board members know this, but have intentionally misled the public for political gain. Seeding division in the community may have political value, but it - and false attacks - don't serve the Town.
My real estate project, Continental Commons, would not impact history. It would celebrate it with unique revolutionary war architecture, a living museum, walking trails, and a visitor center. The New York State Historic Preservation Office praised my project. There would be minimal traffic, with a plan that has been signed off on by NY DOT (Department of Transportation). The plan would create jobs and important tax revenue for the schools, police, and other town services.
Continental Commons was reviewed by the state, county and by the Fishkill Planning Board. In short, they found the project would not adversely impact the environment nor historical resources. Fringe activists - the so-called Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot (FOFSD) - appealed the Planning Board's decision, and lost in the NY Supreme Court last year.
All the while, members of the Democrat-controlled Town Board garnered the members of the FOFSD for political support, many of who were recently named as defendants in a federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) complaint. Learn more at www.continentalcommons.com.
Of course, just a few years ago, (Town of Fishkill Supervisor) Ozzy Albra signed a petition in support of Continental Commons - he has been on all sides of this issue, all the while exploiting his erratic positions for personal political gain. Unfortunately, Supervisor Albra and the Town Board's malfeasance have had a corrosive impact upon my property rights, and more importantly, cost the taxpayers of Fishkill millions of dollars in much needed new tax revenue.
On television, conflict drives ratings. But in real life, bipartisan cooperation based on facts improves lives. We have many great people willing to serve the community. They want to work hard to improve Fishkill. I hope you'll keep that in mind when you vote in this year's election.