Readers Write: The delusional Lone Ranger

Readers Write: The delusional Lone Ranger

You know the bi-annual mayoral election in Manorhaven is approaching. Letters and editorials (including this one) start to appear in local newspapers. Potential candidates start to emerge and show up at our monthly village meetings.

That’s why I find Ken Kraft’s editorial in the Port Washington Times’ Jan. 12 issue intriguing but lacking some facts.

One of the main focuses of Kraft’s editorial is the three-story apartment complex at 22 Sagamore Hill Drive on Manhasset Isle. This ground-breaking, history-making, over-sized and over-height real estate development is an eye sore to many of us residents on Manhasset Isle, let alone its impact on the environment and the over crowding it creates once the project is completed. The variance was submitted by then owner Peter DeJana and was approved by former Mayor Jim Avena’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

In his letter, Kraft praised the newly elected trustee Jeff Stone as the “Lone Ranger” who returns to Manorhaven (did he ever leave?). According to Kraft, Jeff Stone ran on the pledge to end the “chaos” in the village government. Ironically, Stone has been creating chaos and wreaking havoc in the village meetings without doing his home work.

In the BOT meeting of October 2023, Stone got into a heated verbal altercation with Mayor Popeleski and the other three trustees by adamantly pushing his ideal candidate to be the chairman of Board of Zoning Appeals. That particular candidate who voted AYE on the aforementioned variance applications submitted by Peter DeJana.

When I questioned Stone about his choice of the BZA chairman in the November BOT meeting, his answer was “the matter is under the rug” and there was no need for discussion. Is this the kind of “open and transparent government” Stone is pushing for? It seems to me that if Stone does not like your question, then let’s just dust it under the rug and pretend it never happened.

As for the development at 22 Sagamore Hill, I guess Stone has a different perspective as a real estate agent. In that respect he is indeed a “Lone Ranger.”

Bear in mind that the monstrous building at 22 Sagamore Hill Drive is a collaboration between Jim Avena, his board and Peter DeJana. Avena’s BZA would have approved the original variance application of a five-story apartment building with an excessive height of 52 feet if it weren’t for the outcry from the residents. Even so, the final approval still allowed an outrageous 32-foot, three-story building being erected, far taller than the 26- foot building height limit in our village.

With the candidates Avena and DeJana pushing for the upcoming election, our village is once again at the risk of over-building. If you can’t bear to see another 22 Sagamore Hill Drive being built, vote wisely, keep Mayor Popeleski in office and keep the greedy speculators in check!

Richard Li

Manhasset Isle

Village of Manorhaven

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