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Thompson Industries, Franklin Stainless and their cohorts have filed a lawsuit to prevent the Village of Port Washington North from moving ahead with its plan to provide affordable housing for senior citizens. How public spirited of them! The only problem with this charade is that Thompson Industries, Franklin Steel, et al were not motivated by concern for the Port North community. If they were, they wouldn't have instituted a lawsuit that will cost the village much money to defend - money which, in the end, will come from all residents of our village.

No, their lawsuit, which is also being supported by a small group of political dissidents who don't realize they are being used, is nothing short of a self-serving action calculated to protect the narrow interests of the few. Consider the remarks of Ms. Jill Talve, speaking for Franklin Stainless, that appeared in the July 28 issue of a large newspaper. Speaking of the future residents of the proposed senior housing and its proximity to her company, she said, "I don't think they'll appreciate the truck noise and lights which could be annoying them." She expressed her concern that the new neighbors' votes could put the village government at odds with her company. "I don't want a situation where our practices are curtailed to their needs," she said. In other words, the public be damned! Perhaps, in return for her support of the housing, Ms. Talve could exact an agreement in advance, signed in blood, stating that there will be no complaints from anyone buying a unit close to Franklin Stainless.

I say caveat emptor (buyer beware). No one is going to buy a unit in the dark or on impulse. Where in the newspaper article does Ms. Talve express any empathy for Port Washington's seniors who want to remain in the community they have contributed to and been a part of for many years? Nowhere - because she really doesn't care. It's not her concern, but protecting her best interests by exercising some measure of control over the village government is.

Please don't buy all the nonsense that these self-serving opponents of senior housing are generating. They are not opposed because of poor planning, traffic concerns, and all the other arguments that have been mentioned as deterrents. They are looking to defeat a plan that will serve the best interests of the community because of their own selfish needs. What we have here is a demonstration of special interests at their worst.

Ron Brotman


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