Those spreading falsehoods are starting fires

To the Editor:

I want to start by stating that I am endorsing the Altamont First slate of Trustee Nick Fahrenkopf, Trustee Michelle Ganance, and Justice Rebecca Hout in the upcoming village board election on March 19. The reasons are simple: They have been committed, hard-working, and dedicated to serving our village community.

You have heard a lot of nonsense these last few weeks, each adhering to a variety of letters and adhering to a similar “formula” that trustees Fahrenkopf and Ganance are responsible for issues with the placement of a cell tower, that they don’t adhere to the comprehensive plan, and that they are not here to protect the historic character of the village.

These assertions are all untrue and falsehoods being produced by crusaders who seem to be against everything and are intent on promoting individual agendas. The other two candidates, Mr. [Simon] Litton and Mr. [James] Sullivan, are both lacking any individual experience in local government and that should be of grave concern to our Altamont residents.

To set the record straight:

— Whatever your views, trustees Fahrenkopf and Ganance were not on the village board when the site lease for the cell tower was signed five years ago after months of discussion and presentation. This was a planning board project;

— Trustees Fahrenkopf and Ganance did vote for a zone change, allowing Stewart’s to enter into our planning board process to expand their business. There was no spot zoning, as simple research will tell you.

The planning board, the village’s experts on all matters planning, reviewed the comprehensive plan and issued their review stating that there was nothing in the plan that would prevent a possible rezone for the expansion of Stewart’s.

Looking at current events, the decision by Michelle and Nick to vote in favor of the rezone was hard but a smart choice. The central business district has taken a large hit with the loss of Subway and KeyBank. The Stewart’s company is closing stores in two area communities because it can’t continue to succeed without expansion. The success of our business district is reliant on Stewart’s staying in the village. Stewart’s investment in our village will only benefit our community and all of our residents;

— Trustees Fahrenkopf and Ganance are invested in protecting the village charm and history. It is the main reason they chose to move here; and

— Trustees Fahrenkopf and Ganance have improved communication to residents and will be expanding on that with the new village website in late spring. The site will include the opportunity for emailed updates to residents.

I ask everyone to see through the smoke because facts do matter. Those who are spreading falsehoods are not fanning the flames of divisiveness in our village; they are starting the fires. Please put Altamont First and support Trustees Fahrenkopf and Ganance and Justice Hout on March 19.

Barbara Hayes Muhlfelder


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