a Violent Idea
your 2007 Readers Picks issue [March 8] under the category
Best Thing That Could Happen to Albany, someone wrote “blow
up Arbor Hill.” My first response was to wonder if the person
who wrote this is aware that there are human beings living
in Arbor Hill. Although the reader may have been using hyperbole
to make a point, suggesting that our community be blown up
implies that all Arbor Hill residents deserve to die and that
our homes, businesses, and institutions should also be destroyed.
Unlike the first useful suggestion in this category, “Clean
up neighborhoods in city,” the “solution” for Arbor Hill is
wholesale violent destruction.
This evening at our monthly Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association
meeting I shared this reader’s comment with Arbor Hill residents
who are working hard with many others in our neighborhood
and city to make this community vibrant, welcoming, and safe.
They urged me to write to express our outrage at being so
callously stereotyped and dismissed.
Common Council Member, Fourth Ward
Hardin misses the point of the several legal actions by property
owners in and around Washington Park in Troy [“Reassess This,”
Newsfront, March 29]. Of interest is that the majority of
those owners in the lawsuits were reassessed simply for being
in an area where properties happen to be selling well, thanks
in part to their efforts to improve the area. Those reassessments
were not based on building permits or improvements; they just
happened. The targeted reassessment was not uniformly applied
to all property owners within the select area. In fact, several
larger properties within spitting distance of Warren Abele’s
home were not included in the spot reassessment.
Hardin also fails to mention that Mayor Pattison was prepared
to take the political heat in 2002 and correct the disparities
in the city tax rolls. However, then-City Council President
(and current mayor) Harry Tutunjian nixed it. The firm of
Gaskell and Kitchen had been hired, the process begun, but
Tutunjian balked. It is unfortunate that property owners must
sue to get an equitable tax roll. It is unfortunate that the
city’s elected officials consistently refuse to deal with
the issue and attempt to increase revenues by selectively
reassessing certain properties. Other municipalities seem
to have no problem maintaining equitable, up-to-date assessment
While many Troy property owners have no sympathy for owners
of large homes in well-kept neighborhoods, they should be
concerned about the inequities in a 34-year-old tax roll and
the illegality of spot reassessments. They could be next.
Weidrich earned a BFA from Syracuse University, not a BA,
as stated in last week’s arts feature [“Friday Night Lights,”
The photograph that ran with last week’s Shadows Fall concert
preview [Night and Day, March 29] was not of Shadows Fall.
We apologize for the error.
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