Friday, 18 September 2009 00:00
As a Manhasset resident who attended the Aug. 31 meeting with Jon Kaiman regarding 51 Andrew Street, I was particularly startled by what was not said during the meeting.
Mr. Kaiman could not tell the audience how many parking spaces existed in the TONH parking lot. He could not tell the audience the daily occupancy percentage of those spaces, nor could he say how many total spaces the TONH actually needed.
He did inform the audience that several vehicles were to be relocated to another TONH office in the ensuing weeks. He did not know how many.
Mr. Kaiman also informed the audience that the TONH placed a bid on 51 Andrew Street. He did not inform the audience that the property had been previously in contract with a homeowner.
He also failed to mention that TONH convinced the bank to dismiss the buyer’s contract. TONH overbid the original buyer three times and finally offered the bank full payment, in cash, of $625,000. The homeowner could not match this offer. I’m sure if he could, TONH would find another way around that too.
I was unaware that the TONH has $625,000 on hand to buy real estate, considering how many of their other programs are suffering cutbacks in services and funding. Perhaps they came under budget several hundred thousand dollars when Town Hall was refurbished and landscaped. Which, incidentally, when they did do that, they forgot to repair the existing parking lots and fix the fence lines that currently border Manhasset private homes.
Mr. Kaiman made it clear to the audience that TONH can, regardless of public outrage or opinion, do whatever they decide to do, and acknowledged that the town board has never voted against him.
So, regrettably, this home purchase may already be a fait accompli, and another home will be torn down for a bloated, unchecked governing board and overtaxed community.
Perhaps the time has come for the TONH to realize it has grown too large for the Town of Manhasset, and relocating to a larger village with more room to expand is its only option. Or maybe, just maybe, cooler heads will prevail and we can find a way to scale down and at the same time create a more efficient TONH government.
David L. Paterson