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OpinionLetters

Letter: Mall developer: Vote no Tuesday

Bill Taubman, chief executive of the mall development

Bill Taubman, chief executive of the mall development company Taubman Co., says his plans for a shopping mecca on the Cerro Wire property in Syosset are still alive. (Sept. 14, 2011) Credit: Barry Sloan

I strongly disagree with your editorial "Mauling over the mall" [Aug. 11].

This is an issue that is both important and confusing. I believe voters should keep several points in mind.

First, the land belongs to the taxpayers, not the politicians, who raise taxes and constantly take taxpayers for granted. Taxpayers should get the best price for the land. That won't happen in a backroom deal. Voting no would reopen the process, which means the land would sell for more money. It's that simple.

This land is a former Superfund site, and the would-be purchasers have refused to pledge to clean it up. That should raise a serious red flag for any nearby residents.

Voting yes won't stop construction of the mall I have proposed for the adjoining land. It would just give Simon Property Group, the owner of two of Long Island's largest malls, another site to use.

The way this deal was handled simply stinks. It was a last-minute backroom deal. It reflects how Oyster Bay has been run for years. It's Exhibit A of the contempt Oyster Bay's leaders have for the rights of residents and taxpayers. This is why the town is facing so many problems. It's time to stand up to this system by voting no.

The way things are will never change unless voters do something about it. Virtually no one thinks Oyster Bay is run well. Taxes are too high. The town's finances are a mess. There's no respect for the taxpayers, for integrity, honesty or transparency. And it won't change unless voters reject the status quo. That happens by voting no on Tuesday.

It's the taxpayers' money. Vote like it.

Bill Taubman, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Editor's note: The writer is the chief operating officer of Taubman Centers Inc.

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