Saturday, October 21, 2017

ARISE and the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce ask The Adirondack Council and Protect the Adirondacks to Excuse Themselves from Hearing

February 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


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As the Adirondack Club and Resort moves into the final phase of review by the Adirondack Park Agency, two local Tupper Lake groups are questioning the motives of some special interest groups.

In a defensive statement recently made by John Sheehan, spokesman for the Adirondack Council, he tried to dispel the common belief that his group is killing the project: “We have done nothing to slow down this project by one second.” This seems to confirm a statement made last summer by Brian Houseal, head of the Adirondack Council, that “my mandate from the board – and it was a consensus mandate – is to get a permit with conditions from the APA so that this project meets the APA standard of no undue adverse impact, but also a project that will benefit the economy of Tupper Lake.” If the Council is not delaying the project and they want a permit issued that meets the APA guidelines, why is there the appearance of a concerted effort to prevent the issues from reaching the APA?

ARISE Chairman Jim LaValley, and Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce President Douglas Wright, have come out together requesting that the Adirondack Council and Protect the Adirondacks excuse themselves from the upcoming Adjudicatory Hearings for the Adirondack Club.

LaValley said “It continues to amaze me that our system allows special interest groups like the Council and Protect the right to influence the regulatory process. It should infuriate the APA staff and Commissioners that someone can come in behind them and change their hard work and the professional job they have done.” LaValley added, “Protect and the Council are even ignoring Governor Cuomo’s efforts to bring our State back from the edge of economic collapse. I’m surprised he hasn’t expressed his outrage at the tactics being used by these groups.”

Mr. Wright went on to say that “In a recent article John Sheehan was upset over the Town of Tupper Lake passing a resolution in support of the Adirondack Club, and how he stated that ‘If the shoe were on the other foot, they’d be very angry, if someone were telling them to butt out.’ Well, I guess that’s the point. The shoe has been on the other foot for decades and our community is upset because the intention of their influence appears to be to destroy our local economy. The hypocrisy of groups fighting projects in this manner is unbelievable. They enjoy the system when they can cause substantial delays and hardships to our economy, but when the system fights back, they cry foul. Our businesses understand that they have certain rules and regulations which they must follow because they do business in the Blue Line. What they don’t understand, nor do I, is why outside groups have a say in such matters. These are not rules or regulations which we can follow or predict. They are arbitrary and destructive. Please explain to my small business owners who are about to go out of business why your tactics should be permitted to continue. You have had your input; it’s been heard for years. It’s time to move forward.”

LaValley added, “For the Council to state that they have a legitimate job to do further shows the arrogance they have about feeling smarter and more capable then the APA staff. This project falls within the regulatory guidelines, and yet it still isn’t good enough for these groups.”

Wright, who is also an attorney, added in his opinion, “Mr. Caffry’s arguments on behalf of Protect the Adirondacks seem disingenuous at best. Presenting a discovery request consisting of 31 pages and 174 demands, as broad as they are and very often redundant to the information already in their possession, is its own example of trying to stall and force the developer to incur additional cost.”

Both said that Caffry and Protect were the reason the mediation went on so long – not Mr. Foxman. According to Mr. Caffry, the developer “wasted years with his mediation process that went nowhere because he refused to make any meaningful concessions.” Apparently the term “meaningful” is a term for which Mr. Caffry and Protect also get to define. LaValley noted that “The developers have conceded several high elevation parcels, shifted the project, and made many concessions in a genuine, good faith attempt to address the concerns expressed by these groups. It’s unfortunate that the sincerity did not run both ways. Mr. Caffry chooses to ignore what the investors have conceded in good faith, and then criticizes them for their attempts to address their concerns.” Wright echoed LaValley’s comments and concluded that “By our definition, it is clear that these groups have no further ‘meaningful’ input to provide. It is now time to step away and let the process continue. To do otherwise is not only disrespectful to the community, but uses a taxpayer agency to hold a private entity with a legal project, as well as an entire community, hostage. Where is the equity? When is our government going to be permitted to do its job?”

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The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce is a member-based 501 (c) (6) corporation organized to advance the business and community interests of its members and the region through advocacy, member services and community enhancement. The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce is the voice of the local business community. Although our primary mission is to support businesses and the local economy, our efforts produce results that benefit the entire community. More information is available at http://tupper-lake.com.

ARISE of Northern New York, Inc. is a New York 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization. Members of ARISE include business people, elected officials, organizations, and individuals who support the need for a vibrant economy. Our members believe that there has been an overwhelming amount of resources spent to protect the natural environment of the Adirondacks, with very little interest and resources, for the fragile economy. More information is available at http://adirondackeconomy.com.

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