To the editor:
The Nov. 8 letter from real estate salesman Jim LaValley of Tupper Lake was another brilliantly executed hit in his strategy of demonizing anyone with a question about the enormous, complex resort development application currently under review by the Adirondack Park Agency.
LaValley writes, "The APA has stated that the Adirondack Club and Resort has no undue adverse impact on the environment." That's false. The APA commissioners, not the staff, are responsible for answering that question. They are still reviewing the application. His letter made it clear how he thought they should answer it. It made many irresponsible and baseless accusations as well. They are all beside the point.
It might appear that he is directing his mean-spirited attack at the Adirondack Council and another environmental organization. He is not. He is sending a warning to the APA commissioners and to his own neighbors and townspeople, many of whom continue to have questions and concerns about the resort plans. If you have questions, LaValley wants you to keep them to yourself. If you don't, you must be trying to destroy Tupper Lake, right?
Everyone should worry any time someone claiming to be a community leader responds to questions about an important public matter by saying, "It's none of your business," as LaValley does. The project he was talking about is the largest development ever proposed in Tupper Lake, or in Franklin County, or in the entire Adirondack Park since it was created in 1892.
Enough of the bullying, please. LaValley knows the Adirondack Council will not be intimidated. We will be here long after this project is approved or disapproved by the APA. We will be around to see whether the Department of Environmental Conservation permits and Department of Health permits are handled properly, too. We will be around to see whether the applicant ever rebuilds Big Tupper Ski Area. And we will be around to be sure that any buildings constructed are built according to an APA-approved plan.
Whether he likes it or not, the Adirondack Club and Resort project is our business. More importantly, it is your business as citizens of New York who have a stake in the future of the Adirondack Park. That's true, whether you are reading this in Saranac Lake, in Tupper Lake or on the Internet from hundreds of miles away.
Don't let LaValley's acid tongue and bluster ruin your view of the community. There are a lot of nice people who live in Tupper Lake. They just don't write letters like that - to anyone.
John F. Sheehan
Director of communications
The Adirondack Council