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Archive for March 9th, 2006

Blue Village Blues

What do you get when you have a place with relatively low property values and higher tax rates? I’ll tell you: a prime target for non profit group homes to come and set up shop because the property is cheaper and the property tax is a non-issue. This has been going on in our municipality since they put the original group home here on the banks of the Hudson River in 1828. As soon as these places arrive the neighbors circle the wagons for obvious reasons. Some of it is simply fear of the unknown, but I can tell you as a father and homeowner that when you get a new neighbor and they put up a swing set and playhouse that it gives you a certain peace of mind that a chain-smoking, sullen group of middle aged men muttering to themselves in lawn chairs does not.
Given the emotion behind the issue, local government has made efforts to reign in the frequency of "group home surprise" being served in local neighborhoods. Of course, these efforts are only as good as the corrupt whores in government allow, as evidenced by the recent revelation that our mayor himself has agreed to sell his home to a group home interest, quite quietly until he was found out. This isn’t the first controversy in local government, but it is the most blatant, and an ethics board has been called for to oversee these rascals, who are incidentally all Democrats.
Village board members say they support the concept of an Ethics Board. [Mayor] Napolitano has recused himself from the group-home deliberations and said he could not turn down a legitimate offer from a buyer.
He could not turn down the offer? Balderdash. There is no law that compels one to sell one’s home for any offer, except for the law of self interest. This stinks to high Heaven, because the guy was certainly targeted by the agency; they could not have randomly picked him out, and there is nothing about his house that is particularly conducive to being a group home. There was, however, something about his complicity that made him a good prospect. They didn’t buy his house. They bought him. And after he sat in my living room 15 months ago spouting lofty things to get my vote, I find him a less desirable neighbor than whoever it is he’s selling out to.
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