(Editor's Note: The following letter is written in response to the article "Village Court Rules Search Warrant Was Improper, Too Broad," which appeared in the May 27, 2004 issue of The Westbury Times.)
As a law-abiding, tax-paying resident of the Village of Westbury, I am enraged by the decision of Judge Thomas Liotti. He would have people think that the officials of the village are lawless and thoughtless thugs. To the contrary, they are concerned and many times frustrated citizens who are trying their best to maintain the integrity of the village as it has been for many years.
Judge Liotti's comment "the thoroughness of the search was more like using a shotgun to kill a flea" seems to parallel his need to render a hundred plus page decision with attempting to land a 747 aircraft on Post Avenue.
I am in agreement with Liotti's statement that people are entitled to their privacy. But when their privacy comes at the expense of everyone else in the community, then it is time to take action and the village did what they had to do.
The issue of over-crowded, illegal housing has been a burden to the Westbury Village and School District residents for too long and now it has become an epidemic that must be put to an end before the tax inflation becomes unbearable.
The tax-paying residents of Westbury are tired of doling out more than their share of taxes due to illegal housing that is so prevalent in our village and, in fact, throughout the entire Town of North Hempstead. By allowing illegal housing you are condoning stealing tax money from the residents of Westbury Village therefore rendering the possibility of making living unaffordable for the single family home owner.
This is not a case of prejudice toward the residents of multi-family homes in Westbury. As many know, Westbury provides several places for people in need to be clothed and fed and we welcome the diversification, but zoning laws must be enforced. This should not come at the cost of the security or the expense of other residents.
It is the landlords of the multi-family homes who should be fined and taxed accordingly. It is time for the village to step up to the plate and support the people who are willing to help end this outrageous behavior.
As the old adage says, "if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem." I can't help but wonder if Judge Liotti's decision would have been different if the house in question was in his neighborhood.