In the past few weeks we have heard accolades poured on Mr. Benazzi as he campaigns for the job of Glen Cove's mayor. I have never met the man so I will have to judge him on his record.
And this brings me to his desire to serve as our mayor. I have no doubt that Mr. Benazzi is a nice gentleman, as someone recently wrote. I'm sure his certifications and experience serve him well in his chosen occupation. However, as a long-serving member and former chairman of the planning board, Mr. Benazzi offered his approval of the Avalon in our downtown, a building that most residents find appalling in its design and size. Here is a building constructed to occupy the maximum area of the property and built so close to the road that further enhancement or alignment of a Route 107 major intersection is all but impossible.
As a principal member of the planning board and its chairman, Mr. Benazzi cooperated with the Holzkamp administration to change the zoning of the MW-3 waterfront zone to provide a potential developer with everything the developer desired. This significant zoning change to permit high-density residential housing in the MW-3 should have triggered a new request for proposals to other developers, but it did not. This planning board reviewed and approved language so fuzzy that, so long as trees continue to grow, the size of residential housing can grow along with them to greater and greater heights. Though the zoning law looks like it was written by the developer's own consultants, it must have been recommended to the city council for approval in its current form by the planning board.
We should not forget that this zoning change is so dramatic and so flawed that it had to be kept from public scrutiny. It was approved by the city council with only the bare minimum requirement for public notification, and was scheduled for a vote at a sparsely attended meeting just a few evenings before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Although Mr. Benazzi may be a nice man and a respectable citizen of this community, I question his judgment based on his record, and would never consider voting for him for mayor of this city. Bob Benazzi is not the solution; rather, he's part of the problem.
I am supporting an independent for mayor that has shown his respect for the residents of this community by bringing government out of the shadows. Mayor Ralph Suozzi has taken action that can stop the decline of our suburban neighborhoods and prevent the Queensification of Glen Cove. There is no other qualified candidate for mayor.