To the Editor:
The recent vote by the Potsdam Village Planning Board approving the construction of a drug rehab house smack in the middle of one of our better residential districts is the most arrogant and ill--advised decisions I have ever seen in this village. At two separate meetings many local residents voiced their very logical objections - all to no avail.
Why, in the name of all reason, would the board go against the wishes of some of our most highly regarded citizens; ignore the recent bad episode concerning a similar house in Canton; ignore the fact that this property will become church owned and go off the tax rolls thereby adding to the tax bills of all the rest of us; and why did they not use a thing called “common sense?”
Furthermore, the chairman of the planning board, Ted Prahl, did not appear to act in a neutral manner whatsoever, shutting off debate when things were not going his seemingly predetermined way, stating that the audience should base its “deliberations on things that are real, not imaginary”-whatever that means. He might just as well have said “don’t confuse us with facts.” What he did say was that the “most touching thing was the people who spoke in favor.”
Truly heart-rending. How “touching” are the feelings of all those folks in the neighborhood, or don’t they count? Perhaps in his leadership of the planning board he should try to be more like Solomon and less like Caesar. Of course, Ted lives on Main Street, far from 88 Market and would probably not be “touched” by whatever may develop down there.
And, to our friends in the New Hope Church - no offense, but you own a nice big piece of tax-exempt property right now. I would only suggest that if you must build something, do it there, and leave our current taxable property and peaceful neighborhoods alone. “Doing good” is a wonderful objective as long as it does not “do bad” to a lot of unsuspecting and solid citizens.
Dick Hutchinson, Potsdam