DISMAYED AT THE SALE OF MIDDLEWOOD

To the Editor,

On April 8, 2014, I attended the Clarkstown Town Board Meeting. I was absolutely dismayed about what I learned. For several months there have been rumors that the town is considering the sale of Middlewood Village in Nanuet, the only town-owned senior housing complex. Because of this rumor, I began attending town board meetings. At each meeting, when the subject of the sale of Middlewood came up, members of the board said they were simply discussing the option of selling the property, and that no decisions had been made. At the meeting on April 8, Supervisor Gromack continually stated that the town was in good shape financially and that S&P had kept the town at a AAA bond rating. When pressed on the issue, the town comptroller, Edward Duer, stated that S&P gave the town a AAA Bond Rating Negative Outlook, with the understanding that the bond rating would become AAA positive after the cash infusion from the sale of Middlewood.

Upon hearing this, what is a Clarkstown taxpayer supposed to believe? Our elected officials tell us the property’s sale is simply something they are exploring; however, it is clearly something more than that. It has obviously been decided, if S&P told the town board members that upon the cash infusion from the sale, the rating would become AAA Positive. As a 46-year resident of the Town of Clarkstown, I find this behavior appalling. The senior citizens who reside at Middlewood are the same people who helped make this town what it is today. They are tax-paying citizens who deserve better than this.

Councilwomen Lasker and Hausner, along with Supervisor Gromack, repeatedly said that if the sale was to go through, they could guarantee that nothing in the lives of the residents would change. How is this guarantee possible? Town board members have not made this clear. In fact, wouldn’t the new property owners would have the right to maximize their profits as in any other business venture? I strenuously suggest that the members of the town board reconsider this damaging act and continue to protect our senior citizens. Remember, we are all going to get old and Confucius tells us, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

Sincerely,

Catherine Redmond