July 29, 2009: Compensation is not so good

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To The Editor:
I was concerned after reading your recent article in the 7/1/09 issue regarding the Village of Fleischmanns “new Town Hall.”
Reading Gabrielle Kirsh’s letter to the editor in the 7/15/09 issue was additionally disturbing because the Stefanis family has also yet to receive “just compensation” for the village’s condemnation of our property. The village’s improper and abusive use of the power of eminent domain is essentially a license to steal property that could otherwise be obtained or acquired through more legitimate ways, such as open and honest negotiation, and, imagine this: paying fair market value.
I agree with Ms. Kirsch and also call for a thorough audit (perhaps by the NYS Attorney General’s office) regarding the village’s use of taxpayer’s money, funds allocated for public projects, negotiations with the DEP, and the resulting impact on property owners. I would also encourage all property owners to examine how they have been treated, bullied, mislead, (or lied to) regarding sewer hook-up costs, easements etc. Where did all the money go for sewer hookups? Cost overruns? Sure! Poor planning? Maybe. Why? Perhaps property owners should join forces and explore the possibility for combined legal action against the village and each board member personally.
One may also ask if these officials caused all this litigation. Of course they have. Who benefits from the sewer “project” and more litigation? The answer is obvious: their engineers, attorney(s), and the “judicial system” among others. No shortage of work for these “professionals” in these hard economic times, thanks to the village board.
Unfortunately, friends and neighbors, the premise “for the public good” may turn out to be “not so good” when thoroughly reviewed. Oh, and don’t forget to pay your taxes, and your sewer bill or they’ll take your property away too.

Archilles Stefanis,
Fleischmanns