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Sound and Fury

To the Editor:

There are some legitimate reasons for opposition to the creation of a Business Improvement District in the City of Troy—apprehension about what a BID is and a 5-percent increase in property taxes during a tough economic climate, are chief among them.

Unfortunately, as with most subjects in the City of Troy, personality and conspiracy theories tend to trump good intention and ideas. As is the case with Michael LoPorto.

In last week’s edition of Metroland, Mr. LoPorto displayed his bizarre side by claiming, among other things, that the main proponent of the BID was a plant of Mayor Harry Tutunjian’s administration, that she was dating the puppet master behind the BID, and that this was all some coup to rob taxpayers of their money [“Sustaining the Boom,” Nov. 20]. These would all be considered illegitimate reasons for doubting a BID, if they were not already downright delusional.

Mr. LoPorto is intent on trashing the reputations and hard work of honest people, a platform he does not belong near. His comments in Metroland are blatantly sexist (“She is a beautiful girl and she speaks well, but who is Elizabeth Young?”), and his recent comments outside of City Hall were mind-bogglingly racist: He claimed to a group of people that he would “not vote for Jesus if he were black.”

We can add unethical to Mr. LoPorto’s resume when we remember that the single reason he is angry with the mayor, his nephew by marriage, is that Mr. Tutunjian refused to give the Frear Park Golf Course restaurant concession to him because of family ties. Where one man saw a conflict of interest, another saw an opportunity to try and make a quick buck—relatives or taxpayers be damned.

Would it be piling on if I added that the man who has, in eyes of many, shown himself to be sexist, racist, and unethical also happened to run for a seat on the City Council despite the fact that he does not live in the City of Troy, and lied to get on the ballot?

For five years I have listened to the nonsensical ramblings of people like Mr. LoPorto. If you want to disagree with the BID, I have absolutely no issue with that at all. The notion of everyone being on the same page on any issue has long left our society. However, to tear down the hard work and effort of organizers of the BID simply because you are incapable of normal, civil discourse does not do a disservice to any proposed plan, but the community as a whole.

Despite Mr. LoPorto’s efforts of labeling the BID a dramatic failure before it gets out of the gate, I would like to remind him that this summer, the City of Troy took a dramatic step forward in branding itself as the place for free, family-friendly entertainment. If he had taken part in the ChowderFest, Troy Pig Out, River Street Festival, or any other of the great events that brought more than 100,000 people to downtown Troy, he might know this. In this tough economic climate, you would hard-pressed to find anyone who would say that this is a detriment to Troy.

The BID is not a one- or two-person effort, as Mr. LoPorto claims. It is a conglomeration of businesses that share the hope that times will be great once more if the people in the City of Troy can band together for the betterment of the community.

Jeff Buell

Director of Public Information

City of Troy

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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