Guest View: By a ‘Concerned Grand Island Resident;
The town of Grand Island recently elected a new Town Supervisor, Delaware North’s Nate McMurray, VP of Business Development.
The North Tonawanda native won by less than 10 votes. He is currently pushing projects to open rural Grand Island to a larger audience including VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owners), markets, shopping facilities, a new bike path and would like to rid the bridges of the tolls.
All of these issues have their pros and cons and the residents of Grand Island should be able to freely speak their minds. This is not the current vibe.
On July 20 2016 the public spoke and the majority of the 200+ people that attended the meeting said they were against a proposal that included shutting down the West River Parkway and replacing it with the bike path. Parking lots would be built in the median, just a few feet from residents’ properties.
There was considerable unrest that occurred after hearing the plan. However, most people continued to be open to other plans that still offered the bike path, but did not intrude on the property of the residents or shut down a major roadway.
In the past three weeks, the Town Supervisor has not only blocked people from his PUBLIC FB Page that were not in favor of the plan, but called the residents/taxpayers (in a meeting that was held recently) “Special Interest Groups”, “These People” and “A Few Disgruntled Residents”.
In this meeting he refused to answer a question posed by town board member, Mike Madigan as to whether or not he (the supervisor) had taken a position on behalf of the town to the State’s plan for the path. Mr. McMurray refused to answer the question.
The town board voted 3-2 against the proposal to eliminate West River Parkway, but are in favor of a bike path in general and are asking the state to present another plan.
Why is a man that has only been a resident for a few years become so passionate about the government and this specific situation? Is there something bigger than just a bike path? Do they need space for something else? Something not released to the public? Why block people on FB that are in disagreement? Why threaten people that ask questions with defamation suits etc.
Each meeting I attended has been spun by the media and him in order to create positivity around the project. He hurls insults, calls names and tells people to be quiet. The town board meeting was adjourned 3 times by him, only to be interrupted by him speaking the last word on the project.
Concerned citizens are not the enemy. The people that pay taxes (his salary included) for both the town and NYS. I am confused about his position and why he took the elected job of supervisor it if he does not want to be a part of our Representative Democracy.
The people of Grand Island have a legitimate reason to worry. Why the rush? Why the insistence on THIS plan and none of the multitude of OTHER suggestions for a solid plan? Why the inability to listen without retort or nasty comment?
Does Grand Island need a facelift like the rusting steel plants on the City’s waterfront or can it just be left unspoiled for people who want to take a nice drive and go somewhere quiet for a while?