Residents Should Learn About Westwood/Audubon Deal

Commentary from a Concerned Citizen

As a concerned town resident regarding developments relating to the town’s potential acquisition of Westwood Country Club, in exchange for town property located at the Audubon golf course and the North Town Center recreational facility I am writing to urge Amherst residents to make an effort to understand all aspects of this project and make your views and concerns known to your elected officials long before this project has been negotiated and demand answers before this project is formally brought before town residents for the required hearing prior to a formal approval by this town board. If you wait until then to voice your concerns at that point this will be a done deal. A hearing of this type 99% of the time is just a necessary ordeal to be endured by the politicians’ before approval is granted, especially when all town board members are from the same political party. It will be imperative for all town residents to have an understanding not only of all the wonderful things this town board plans on being included in this project, but a firm estimate of the costs to be incurred for each project and where the revenue is going to come from initially and on an ongoing basis.

Town residents should keep in mind that this project as currently envisioned will be trans-formative in scope and forever change the landscape of our town. If we get this wrong we will be paying for years to come and long after our current elected officials will have left or have been voted out of office.

In a perfect world who would not want another beautiful park located in the geographical center of Amherst. However, before this park becomes a reality I ask everyone, especially our elected officials, to keep in mind when we are bartering away our town assets two things: 1) The town board did not go to the Mensch Capital group looking for a deal. Mensch Capital, looking for a way out of what was a bad deal that they made, came to the town for relief. 2) What the town currently has by way of green space and recreational activities has served the town well. In short we are not in desperate need to make this deal unless it benefits the town every bit as much as the developers. Also, the recent involvement of, “Bones and Guts who hope to benefit not only themselves but wealthy medical professionals who can well afford to anti-up and still come out well ahead should not be allowed to clean up on the backs of the town residents. As it is, all developers and recipients of their activities will clean up on the back end when our Amherst I.D.A. does its stuff. Then there is the numerous state credits, etc. Bottom line, when all the cards are shuffled and dealt the town better end up on the plus side economically after offsetting the cost to bring this project into fruition and let us not forget what all this will cost the town over time in increased additional employees, payroll taxes, pensions, maintenance, etc. on an on-going basis.

Final thought Mister and Mrs. Amherst: Do not blow this project off and ignore the details as this is one project once approved that we will not be able to undue.

8 Responses to “Residents Should Learn About Westwood/Audubon Deal”

  1. Alex says:

    There are many “concerned citizens” for all the reasons laid out in this letter. We have a madman on the loose selling off land that does not belong to him and using every trick at his disposal to keep the owners in the dark and distanced.

    When the sell off is complete, we’ll hear more, but too late. The deal is done. All the high stakes players will count their money and the taxpayers will be left holding the bag, as usual.

  2. Edward McKee says:

    Concerned Citizen:
    No, respectfully it is not too late. The reason I took the time to write this letter was to do my small part and alert and urge residents to make an effort to get into the faces of our town board members by reaching out and contacting them individually, and as a group, and not let up, to let them know we are there and we are skeptical and want answers as this journey moves forward and not when you have a formal hearing on this matter. Look, personally, if this turns out to be a good deal I’m for it. But it absolutely better be a good deal for the town residents, or else. It is up to us to demand that the town board proves its case. So far they have not done so in my book. For starters, the recent sale by the town of 1610 Amherst Manor Drive to Uniland was for $710,000. The appraisal the town requested assigned a value of $770,000. Why did the town sell this property for $60,000 less than the appraised value? And, if there was a valid reason for doing so, unless I missed something and they did so, why did they not inform the residents for the wide variance between the appraised value and the final selling price?

  3. Joe d. says:

    I have to ask..what is wrong with the “puppet” elected Board members?
    Why arent they standing up to this giveaway…how can they face their constituents with a clear conscience?..their neighbors and fellow citizens of this Town? and WHAT is in it for them?..supporting this Mensch deal?

  4. Don Lukas says:

    It’s funny seeing Judy F and Ed McKee, two big suppprters of kulpa, lavin (by the way what does he do other than collect a nice paycheck), Berger now have issues with all of them. You all fell for the con job when they were running. The real bosses are jerry schad (who’s a complete horrible person) and mark poloncarz (who is an idiot, did he pass the bar exam yet?)

    At least you are coming around on the horrible con job they are pulling on us tax payers

  5. Don Lukas. Please read our community guidelines. They are very important to follow.

    This forum is intended those who want to express their opinions, which we expect to be in a civil tone. Your comment definitely was not.

    Any future comments intended just to bash people you dislike will not be posted. Name calling is NOT permitted.

  6. touch type says:

    An excellent post, thank you

  7. Edward McKee says:

    Donald, speaking only for myself, seeing as you took the time to respond to my remarks I would like to reply to what you have written this one time.

    First, to the best of my knowledge, I have no recollection of ever speaking to you in the past. So, I have no knowledge of how you could personally know whether or not I was a, “big” supporter of Brian Kupla in his bid to become Town Supervisor.

    Second, as to my, “coming around” regarding the, “the horrible con job they are pulling on us taxpayers’” allow me to illustrate how I form my decision whether or not to vote for someone in our town elections: (1) I make a concerted effort to see all contestants speak in a public forum (2) I become familiar with each contestant’s bio (3) if I am not familiar with a candidate I try to communicate with them at least once (4) I try very hard to see where each candidate is coming from concerning their views on current matters of interest to me and to the town overall. Admittedly, my process is not foolproof, but at least it’s an effort to intelligently evaluate town candidates.

    Lastly, I’d like to remind you, Donald, that, if you recall, when Brian and his untested other board members, save one, were swept into office, the other side to a person, allowed its candidates to be micro-managed by their sole campaign manager to the extent that they all gave the same bland campaign stump speeches and, for the most part, would not take questions at campaign forums and refused to participate in the only town forum for all town candidates that allowed voters to address their questions directly to them. The individuals in office now were the only ones that showed up at this event. To go one step further, the Town Supervisor at the time who was from the same political party of the, “no shows” would not allow this candidate forum to be aired on the town website and would have done so if the other side had showed up. Powerful incentives at the time in my view not to consider the, “now shows.”

  8. Don Lukas says:

    First off Ed, my name is Don not Donald :)
    Secondly, around town people know who you are, you are a vocal resident . Nice job on the non answer of being a big supporter of kulpa, you should run for office with all that non consequential talk. the only true sanctioned town forum is the one held by the Amherst senior center.
    Lastly, Are you talking about the All the registered Democrats who were on the open govt board taking their orders from above to hold this forum as you described, as it was a sham to begin with.

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