Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marty Coburn at Strathmore Dam hearing 12/10

I haven't watched the whole meeting, but am guessing this is the part of this week's meeting that caused a stir:Context is always important though, so I'll try to post the entire hearing this weekend.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

Could a "public official" possibly have been more arrogrant or condescending to the residents of Cheshire?

Anonymous said...

Was there any truth in his remarks?

Anonymous said...

He may have stated the facts correctly but his added remarks were not necessary. It's all in the way you say something that counts and he stepped over the line.

Anonymous said...

No, he did not state the facts accurately:

Fact: The Homeowners who did not buy directly from Fisk did not know there was a dam or the association requirement. The deeds reference a cryptic citation to a 1976 Zoning Board approval. Usually that means something about not garaging trucks or hanging clotheslines; not owning a public works project.

How long did Fisk sit on this---30 years!

Fact: For years Coburn was trying to pawn off the dam from a wealthy insider (Fisk) to the beleagured home owners. He actually said we should consider this a tremendous asset to take the dam. When he was the only person who felt that way on P & Z he was forced to go along with the majority position. Now he acts like he was our neighborhood's best friend. Bull.

It speaks volumes that we have a "public officlal" who is more concerned about a rich developer from Woodbridge having to pay a lawyer than looking out for this town's homeowners. Oh, boo hoo Fisk...that's what you get for trying to palm off your problem on others. Responsibility, anyone?

Thankfully. MY political party didn't put this monument to ego and stupidity on a town board.

Anonymous said...

no-- your republican political party started this mess and the arrogant attitudes that are now coming back to haunt this town.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the Republicans for Marty Coburn. He is like all the pompous self-centered Democrats who are now running the town into the ground. Next thing we'll have the Town Council telling us to "be quiet" about the revaluation debacle

twodox said...


First of all, you should give some context to my remarks. This came at the end of the latest of many sessions on this issue, which was resolved as the Strathmore homeowners has asked it be: i.e., they didn't get ownership of the dam, as originally planned when the subdivision was approved.

Regarding the "truth", I did make a few misstatements:

-It was the PZC, not the TC, that originally wrote the poorly worded regulations.
- I should have clarified that the $1 per year per home was the tax bill.
- I shold have said "hundred of man-hours, rather than "thousands of hours" (OK, I exxagerated for effect.)

Besides this, I stated the facts as they stood, and verified this with John Knott and others on the PZC. I never raised my voice, in contrast to those in the audience yelling "F**K YOU!" at the top of thier lungs. (You can hear it on the clip.)

Despite these outbursts, I did later apologize for the tone, but not the content, of my remarks, which is something you chose to omit.

The contention that the later owners did not know of their obligation is bogus. If they read their deeds, they would have seen the requirement. As I said, they, or their attorneys or title companies should have known. Their ignorance, whether innoncent or intentional, does not relieve them of their responsibility.

FWIW, I have gotten nothing but positive feedback from other members of the PZC, other Strathmore owners, and Town officials. As one owner said, "I want to get this issue resolved, so it will not be a question mark when I want to sell my house."

Marty Cobern
(Yes, it's I. You should recognize me by now. If you have any doubts, call me.)

PS: If you are going to put me in the dunking booth, at least have the courtesy to spell my name correctly.

PPS: It would really be a breath of fresh air to have even one of your "correspondents" had the guts to identify him or herself.

twodox said...

Tim, one more thing.

Mr. Anonymous said that I have been "trying to pawn off the dam" on the homeowners. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I did suggest that the homeowners consider the pros and cons of their ownership vs. the Town's. For example, should the Town choose to use the pond as a recreational area, they will be faced with additional traffic, parking on their streets, etc. I never advocated that this be forced upon them.

Rather than looking after the interests of a "wealthy insider," I personally drafted and got passed a resolution that required that Ravenswood (Fisk) restore the dam to code condition before any transfer take place. This will cost him a lot in engineering expenses, as well as legal. (I forgot to mention the former in my remarks, mea culpa.) As I said, he, and the Town, will face additional costs as result of this delay, but the homeowners have saved 30 years of dues, and will save further money by not owning the dam.

I also offered the amendment to the motion on the 10th which put off the requirement of the homeowners' association until the transfer of the dam is ready to take place. (Again, I think the homeowners are making a mistake by delaying. In the negotiations before any transfer, it would be in their interest to have a single spokeperson for all of their interests. But, it's their choice!)

Marty Cobern

Anonymous said...

We appreciate the advice on having a single spokesperson but do not consider it a mistake to not do so and here is why. No way do we organize in any way until that dam is fully transferred to the town. My prediction is Fisk never gets the dam up to code. He can dissolve his company and walk away.

Now if we had an association, who do you think they pin the dam on? Much easier than trying to stick it on 90+ homeowners.

If the original association had been formed this would never be an issue. He dropped the ball and no one from the town ever followed up.
This is 100% the fault of the developer.

BTW: It IS in the deed and my attorney saw it plain as day. He asked me "do you have a homeowners association?" while he was preparing the papers. I asked around and found that there was not one and we let it be. The people that spoke at the P&Z meeting (my neighbors mind you) stated incorrectly that it is not in their deeds. They need to direct their anger at their attorney who never bothered to look.

If the town wants to enforce this provision, it is totally within their rights. I would be happy just to be absolved of the dam. Buyer Beware.