Letter: Suggests residents consider development issues when going to polls

Kent Weeklies

If you thought Phase II had been put on the back burner, at least until the soil contamination issue was addressed, nothing could be further from the truth.

At the Sept. 8 council workshop, Randy Ruttenberg of Fairmount Properties presented two high-density projects -- even higher in density than the Testa P2 Plan that was voted down last year. He stated his objective is to drive people to the shops at First & Main, in which he has a vested interest. Nowhere do his plans address our traffic, which will only be exacerbated with the introduction of 300 to 500 additional residential vehicles.

Ruttenberg's plans do not include amenities or appreciable green space for residents, and he refutes that there is soil contamination, referring to it as only "soil challenges". He had spoken with members of the groups who had vocally opposed the Testa plan, and shared that while those groups were quite clear in wanting to include the community in any future decision-making, he has no interest in going to a public referendum, nor is he up for a "12 month battle".

Despite the developer's stated interest in partnership after the community agrees to a direction, merely one week later, and without providing more than an hour's notice to the entire Council and Mayor, At-Large Councilman Hal DeSaussure made a motion to to engage in a no-bid purchase discussion with Ruttenberg. That motion ended in a 3-3 tie, which fortunately means it failed.

The Nov. 3 At-Large Council election will decide whether anything comes of this plan, with or without citizen input. Before you vote, go back a few years and do your research. Don't be fooled by recent changed narratives. This issue is far too important to ignore.

Bonni Kerr, Hudson