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Letter: Questioning ‘Freedom’ In Westbury Village

I have been a proud Village of Westbury resident for over a decade renting the upper floor of a private residence. I am a proud Air Force veteran of the Vietnam Era and 90 days active duty with the New York Guard in response to the terror attacks of 2001. America for me is the Land of the Free.

Recently two code enforcement agents from the Village of Westbury stopped me in front of my residence and asked me if I had 20 people living in my apartment. I permitted them to search my apartment and they determined since I have a single bed I must live alone. They wanted to photograph my apartment, which I would not authorize.

For a moment I questioned myself is this really my America where we are safe from intrusion in our homes or is our village becoming Nazi Germany.

The [code enforcement agents] stated a complaint had been made and then changed their story to that my landlord needed a Rental Permit; my landlord had already taken my name and address to apply through the village. As a veteran, I no longer feel welcome here.

I ask our mayor to be less overzealous and to have village officials properly identify themselves and not quickly flash a badge. Investigate houses that are overcrowded and unsafe, not veterans who have earned the right to live in the Village of Westbury.

Gregory Bennett

(Editor’s Note: Gregory Bennett is a 30-year member of American Legion Post #421.)