2012-06-06 / Mailbag

Lanza dismissal was warranted

To The Editor:
Having been previously employed at Belleayre Mountain (1998-2009 winter seasons), I can say from personal experience that it is no surprise that Mr. Lanza was dismissed. What disappoints me is the fact that it took so long. My personal feelings aside, and knowing of and witnessing some of the transgressions that have taken place; what I am most disturbed by is the so called blind support Mr. Lanza has from politicians, local businesses and customers.  

Yes, Belleayre is a premier winter sport area, but at what expense? The local businesses gained monetarily, so they had a vested interest in Mr. Lanza’s marketing skill at Belleayre. Any violations and/or mismanagement at Belleayre did not effect their business operation, directly or indirectly. They did not have to deal with or remedy those situations that took place, whatever they were. The customers without dispute had an enjoyable place to ski/snowboard which in itself is not a crime or issue.

Without going into details, how many “issues” and investigations needed to take place and be tolerated before someone at NYSDEC realized, “Hey, something’s wrong here.” This latest incident was not a first-time occurrence.

Yes, Mr. Lanza did great marketing for Belleayre. He is a great salesman, and I always said that (despite my own personal feelings). But a great salesman does not always make a good supervisor.
The question here is the blind defense of a person, just because “you had fun,” or this person had a great public personality, or you made some money due to his marketing skill; and of whom is now seen to have questionable practices from those that have been published so far, I don’t expect outsiders to know behind the scenes and behind closed door shenanigans.

He may have done a great many things for the community outside of Belleayre, and I can understand why people are defending him, but perhaps this defense is without knowing the questionable side of his management of Belleayre.

So, let’s say in time, we find out the true nature of those transgressions committed at Belleayre was so understated, under reported and so severe; that you now say “Why the heck did it take NYSDEC so long to dismiss him?”

Will those of you who are defending Mr. Lanza now find the courage to say, “I was in error”?
In conclusion, here is something else to consider. As reported, Mr. Lanza was “dismissed” and not “suspended pending investigation.” This leads me to feel that NYSDEC has information or documentation or proof that warranted this drastic dismissal action.

Yes, Mr. Lanza had some positive attributes in marketing and fundraising outside of Belleayre, but the point is to keep an open mind and don’t blithely defend someone who just might not be worthy of it.

Philip M. Goldstein,
Kelly Corners

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