This letter is in response to Hank Ratner's letter which appeared in the Aug. 8 issue of the Port News.
Anything Hank Ratner says or does regarding the proposed senior housing in Port Washington North has to be taken with a grain of salt. He has succeeded in politicizing this issue for the benefit of the dissidents he supports. Their strategy seems to be to keep pressuring Mayor Pellegrino and other village officials who support him until they wear them down and until they give up. I urge the mayor and trustees under fire from the opposition leaders with agendas of their own to stand fast and not to be intimidated.
If they succeed, Port North's government will be in the hands of those who are subservient to special interests such as Thomson, Franklin Stainless and Stark Carpet. Left to them, the property would be down zoned to suit their purposes. (I don't think I've ever heard of support for down zoning a residential area. Usually, residents want to up zone such property.)
Both Ratner and Doris Novick, who also wrote a letter to the editor in the same issue, say they're not against senior housing, they just want fewer units. Unfortunately, both display a woeful ignorance of the economics of residential housing. According to professional builders, to limit the number of units in the proposed senior housing to 150 units (as some have suggested) would mean the least expensive unit would have to cost about $500,000. There goes the desire and need for affordable senior housing.
Finally, Ratner claims that the "majority of village residents, as well as the Port community at-large, had serious doubts" about the proposed senior housing. I don't know how he knows these things. Has he commissioned a professional poll or has he, by divine guidance, come into possession of such statistics? I attended the public hearing at the Landmark and the majority of those in attendance were for, not against, the proposal.
As I wrote at the beginning of this letter, anything Hank Ratner says or does regarding the proposed senior housing in Port Washington North has to be taken with a grain of salt.
Henry J. Cosenza