Concerned Citizen Letter: A Person Who is Right and Wants the Public to Know What’s Happening in Amherst

May 31, 2019

I am requesting that this letter be incorporated into the town public record.

After I read the recent articles in the Buffalo News and the Amherst Bee article on its front page regarding Supervisor Kulpa’s comments regarding Westwood and parkland alienation and conducting a rather speedy hearing scheduled for May 20 on this matter I found myself very much alarmed. For starters, this is hardly enough timely notification for a hearing on such an ambiguous matter to most town residents. To the best of my recollection the concept of “alienation” has never been mentioned publicly before. And then to turn around later on in the town board program to have the gall to put it to a vote via the town attorney resolution #2019-617 is nothing short of unbelievable. Also, specifically what will be presented at this hearing when it appears to me that at this stage no one knows what the heck is going on and if there is enough specifics to even have an intelligent hearing. This sounds very much to me like a sham hearing just to move this parkland alienation thing along to meet some preliminary requirement with the state to obtain its approval to swap land. Once this is accomplished on such very short notice without an adequate dissemination of the materials available to weigh benefits/ detriments of such a hasty action this will put far too much power in the hands of this town board to make a deal that I frankly do not think this town board on its own is competent enough to handle for the greater good of our town. Also, I do not like that it appears that the only elected official directly involved in whatever has occurred between the town and Mensch Capital Partners, LLC is the town supervisor. Too much is at stake here to trust just one person to get the story straight. Checks and balances are sorely needed.

let each of you remember that the Mensch Capital Partners are not driven here by some altruistic motive to make Amherst great again. They are driven to make their hasty purchase of Westwood as profitable as possible for them first and foremost. The town did not seek the Mensch group out to make this land swap. They sought the town out. The town holds the stronger cards in this poker game. If any good comes out of wheel spinning effort to-date the people the town folk put their faith better make dam sure the greater good of the town is served and that we come out with our interests best served. The town does not owe Mensch a deal. They didn’t elect any of you. And lastly to put the “cherry” on top of the sundae when all is said and done if anything comes of this The Mensch Capital Partners and associates will be suing the town for every bit of tax breaks and favorable funding our IDA can give them. Go figure.

In wrapping this up I’m going to let you in on a little secret, this deal, if it ever comes to fruition, is not going to be the equivalent of the Central Park of NYC. We are not New York City. And to make this park come even close to rivaling Central Park would bankrupt us. I’d expect this example of “Puffing” form a used car salesman, not something from our elected officials. Also, when this resolution comes to a vote later this evening, except for the supervisor the people deserve nothing less from each town board member a substantive explanation of why each voted the way you did. No cop outs by just merely saying, “aye.”

Sincerely,

Edward F. McKee 75 Hobnail Drive Amherst, NY 14051

P.S. Amherst comprises approximately 54 square miles or 34,568 acres. As of the most recent town records I have available (2016) the amount of designated town “green space the town has total designated green space, excluding land specifically designated for private development amounting to 4,428 acres, or 12.8% of town land.

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