web journal
journal archive
www.rogovoy.com | seth@rogovoy.com

| Concert Calendar | Cultural Calendar | About This Blog | About Seth Rogovoy |
| Live Appearances and Lectures | The Rogovoy Report Archive | South Berkshire Minyan | Disclaimer |

   rogovoy.com    Web   
This is an Archival Site
There is now a new Rogovoy Report home

Weekend Preview May 19-24
Bob Dylan tributes, Deborah Voigt, Tom Paxton, Bill Kirchen, John Kirk and Trish Miller

Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday in Style
Paying tribute to the greatest rock songwriter ever

FILM REVIEW: In a Better World and Of Gods and Men
Review by Seth Rogovoy

'LIKE' The Rogovoy Report on Facebook
Click 'LIKE' to Receive Facebook feeds from The Rogovoy Report

Deborah Voigt Headlines Mahaiwe Gala
Opera star to sing arias, show tunes on Saturday, May 21

Famed Spiritual Teacher to Speak on Nonviolence
Mother Maya in free talk at Sruti Yoga in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday May 20 at 7pm

Special Effects Wizard to Be Honored by Film Festival
Doug Trumbull to be Feted by BIFF

Weekend Preview May 12-16
Cultural Highlights of the Berkshire Weekend

Talk about a small world
Elaine and I grew up together, but only just recently met....

Berkshire Living to Cease Publication
A Farewell from Publisher Michael Zivyak

twiGs Branches Out
Lenox boutique launches new e-tail site

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

every article is indexed here
journal archive
Great Barrington's Tony Blair replies to opponent's charges

[This is a letter from Tony Blair responding at length to charges against him leveled by Andy Moro, an opponent for a seat on the Board of Selectmen of Great Barrington, Mass., in tomorrow's election.]

Hello Friends,

As you may have seen in today's Eagle, Andy Moro is trying to portray me as a "developer" with an interest in developing the Searles/Bryant site. He is claiming that I have financial interest in the renovation of that site, which, he claims, I have not revealed while speaking on the subject of locating a fire station there.

This is a misleading accusation, evidently timed to reach voters at the last minute. If Mr. Moro had concerns about this issue, he had ample opportunities to raise it at the Candidate's Forum just a few days ago, or the AARP forum the week before. Since there are no events in the past few days that triggered Mr. Moro's charges, waiting till the last minute makes it clear that he is more interested in trying to portray me as a dishonest person than in debating with me on the facts and allowing those facts to reach the voters.

The fact is that for over 10 years, I have spent uncountable hours as a volunteer member of the Planning Board and various town committees (Town Manager Screening Committee, two Fire Station study committees and School Re-Use Task Force). I was also honored to be elected to serve one term as Selectman from 1998-2001. My motivation has always been to improve our town government in order to best serve the people of Great Barrington and Housatonic. My record shows that I have never used any public position to advance my ow n financial interests.

Mr. Moro's spurious implications that I have a personal financial stake in the outcome of the debate over the fire station location would normally not be worthy of response. But, because Mr. Moro’s accusations have been published, I feel compelled to respond with this information, which I hope you will share with friends and associates.

Here are the facts: I have been affiliated with the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire for about five years as an unpaid volunteer board member. At the moment, I am president of its Board. For the last year and a half or so I have also served as VP of the Board of an affiliated CDC, the Tri-Corner CDC. Both are non-profit organizations whose missions are to bring economic development and affordable housing to the South County area (via the CDCSB) and to the adjoining areas in NY and CT (via the Tri-Corner CDC). I am proud to have been affiliated with them and with the projects they are trying to move forward.

Upon deciding to run for the Selectboard, I informed the Boards of both organizations that, if I am elected, I will have to resign from the CDC boards to avoid the potential or appearance of any conflict of interest. I certainly have never, and by law, could never, reap any personal financial gain from the success of any CDC project – in fact I have donated substantial free legal services to both organizations over the years.

I also chaired an excellent task force on the re-use of the Searles Bryant campus. Appointed by the Board of Selectmen, the task force was given the responsibility of looking at the buildings and finding out both what their potential for development might be, as well as determining the townspeople's preferences about future use of the buildings.

The Task Force issued a comprehensive report showing that what folks here in town want is a mixed use with a mix of affordable housing and some market rate housing along with office, or performance or other public spaces. The report also showed what other communities, from Oregon to Georgia as well as locally, have done with abandoned public school properties. The task force held a well-attended public forum on the re-use of the buildings and attracted interest from Fulton Hill Properties, of Richmond, VA, a re-use developer whose owner came to the public forum and to tour the schools. By chairing that task force I became well informed about the promising potential these buildings hold for our downtown.

So I do have, and am proud that I have, a concern for economic development, affordable housing, and constructive and creative re-use of the town's now abandoned school buildings. I have always made this clear. In addition, I bring my training and expertise as a lawyer working in municipal law, as a partner of the firm of Hannon Lerner in Lee. The knowledge and perspective that this background and experience gives me is what I bring to the table, when I speak at a Town Meeting, and when I serve on a Town Board.

My reasons for opposing the proposal to place the fire station at Searles/Bryant, to date, have been expressed clearly in a variety of public forums, but to summarize they are:

1. Bad information and narrowed choices as a result of the Selectboard not doing

enough homework.

2. Costs that are of questionable accuracy and far too indeterminate.

3. Loss of potential opportunity (and potential town revenue) for exciting

possibilities associated with creative re-use of the school campus.

We do need a new fire station. I have chaired one fire station study committee and sat on another. I have no doubt that we can find a location that will be excellent and that we can all agree upon. We have to make that decision after looking at complete and accurate information, with clear consideration of the alternatives and based on the best interests of the town as a whole.

Thank you for your support as I run for Selectman. I urge you to get out and vote, and to please send this email to your friends and urge them to send it on to their friends as well and to vote on Monday, May 22.


Tony Blair

...sites that work