WPCNR LETTER TICKER. August 14, 2014.(The following letter to the Mayor of White Plains and the Common Council was submitted to WPCNR for publication with permission):
I feel compelled to reiterate the concerns and questions that I brought to your attention at the Common Council FASNY Public Hearings last Monday.
The unprecedented involvement of some many concerned residents stems from the fact that, not only was the previous FASNY documentation which resulted in an FEIS riddled with problems, but now the FASNY “De-mapping of Hathaway Lane” and the “Site Plan and Special Permit” documentation again contain innumerable misinformation, contradictions and inaccuracies . The public has responded by providing the enormous amount of information that you have received from residents both at the 2 hearings and undoubtedly in emails, letters and personal conversations.
Therefore, it is imperative that the public’s input and critique be used by city staff, outside legal and professional consultants and others to analyze the two latest FASNY proposals. The work and studies of the White Plains residents must be given equal if not more weight than documentation provided by the applicant. That is what Public Hearings and Input are all about.
The council, in turn, must study, question, deliberate in depth the resulting information in order to achieve an objective and fair outcome for White Plains, all its residents, voters and tax payers and in particular the residents of neighborhoods that could be so severely and negatively impacted by the FASNY proposal.
There needs to be a publicly known process to achieve this goal. At this point there does not seem to be such a process.
Therefore, so that each member of the council and the mayor, city staff, boards, commissions and all residents can develop and understand the process, it is imperative that these questions be answered:
- Who is collecting and categorizing all the information received to date and which will continue to arrive until the hearings are closed?
- Is this occurring in the Planning Dept? In the mayor’s office? in the office of corporation counsel?
- Is it being delivered for review to the outside counsel/Mr. Silverberg and/or his staff? What is the role of Mr. Silverberg in this process?
- What is the role of TRC in the collecting and reviewing process?
- Why is city staff – Mr. Callahan, Commissioner Cheteny, Commissioners and others, and outside counsel Mr. Silverberg – not present in chambers during the Public Hearings when FASNY has its attorney and consultants sitting in the room?
- Why has Mr. Silverberg not spoken publicly or delineated the process as he did for the EIS process?
- Is any review taking place at this time or will it only take place after the hearings are closed?
- As residents’ comments are received and heard by council members who do they turn to for clarification and analysis and how does this occur? Is it by phone or frequent email exchanges with staff or others?
- Will there be a period of public comment after the hearings are closed? If so, for how long?
- Who will prepare the final document upon which the council will make its determination ? What time period will the council have to study the document before a vote takes place?
- Will the document be available online and at city hall and at the library and will the public be notified?
I believe it is extremely important that these questions be publicly responded to and that the promised policy of transparency be made an actuality. It will shed a more positive light on this administration and squelch any thoughts among the residents that – according to a popular saying – “don’t confuse me with facts, my mind’s all made up”.
Lastly, I have just viewed the city’s website and see that the announcement for the next Public Hearing (Sept 8 , 2014, 6.30 pm) has been posted but the location still remains at City Hall.
Has not experience taught you that such a meeting will attract an attendance that cannot safely be accommodated in City Hall Chambers???? There is still plenty of time to make other arrangements as has been requested and suggested by many caring residents. And furthermore, it is still not clear if the regular monthly meeting will take place on Tuesday Sept 2!
I am taking the liberty of sharing this communication with many of those that have spoken at the hearings as well as with some of the neighborhood associations so that they too can urge you to activate an open process.
Carry Kyzivat, 17 Maplemoor Lane 10605