I am a resident of Paulding Avenue.

One side of the currently decrepit Butterfield property borders Paulding and along with most of my neighbors, I would be so very pleased to see it developed.

I also know that in this process of approvals for redevelopment, it is crucial that Matt Francisco and Donald MacDonald be on the Village Board looking out for my interests. Why? Because it is crystal clear that they are the ones with the appropriate experience, skill set, and intelligence that is required to protect Cold Spring from interests that often run counter to the public good. Architect Donald MacDonald’s 10+ years of living and breathing zoning issues has given him an unmatched expertise in property issues, and Matt’s experience as a professional large-scale project planner has made him simply invaluable and a perfect match for the village’s needs, especially now.

America is littered with towns and municipalities that have been spoiled by savvy and well-financed developers seeking profits without regard for public good. My family moved here to escape those places, and I want to make sure it doesn’t happen here too. I don’t fault the developers; they act in their own self interest which is perfectly acceptable in our culture.

So it falls to local government to provide the counterpoint and public protection, but all too often elected or appointed officials’ background and experience are no match for a sophisticated developer, leaving communities with unforeseen negative consequences. The other candidates in this race, while perfectly nice people, would create yet another local board in America unequal to the task of properly vetting a large development, leaving us all open to the negative consequences.

But we are lucky! We have two people with a deep understanding of the issues and complexities of what will be the largest development in Cold Spring. They are willing to devote their time, energy, and expertise to represent our best interests. I have great confidence that Matt and Donald on the Village Board represent the best chance we have for a positive outcome. We would be foolish not to hire them.

Steve Laifer
Cold Spring

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Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

This piece is by a contributor to The Current who is not on staff. Typically this is because it is a letter to the editor or a guest column.