Weinstein has ignored constituents’ concerns
I am disappointed that The News endorsed Barry Weinstein for Amherst supervisor. I hope voters consider the alternative candidate, Mark Manna. Why should I vote for a person who is not interested in my concerns as a homeowner? For a year and a half, Weinstein did nothing to address residents’ concerns over a six-story Hyatt Hotel in their neighborhood.
Iskalo Development has been allowed everything it proposed in its plans from the beginning of the process. With so much opposition to the size of the hotel, wouldn’t you think that the town leader would ask for a compromise from Iskalo, such as limiting the hotel to three or four stories, a height that wouldn’t overwhelm this residential area? Instead, Iskalo was granted all nine zoning variance requests that it needed, and millions in IDA tax credits. OK, these gifts came from the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Amherst IDA, not directly from Weinstein. But the Zoning Board and IDA are staffed by appointees of the Town Board, which is effectively controlled by Weinstein.
There is more to being an elected town leader than just cutting town expenses. A leader listens to his constituents’ concerns and treats them with respect even if he disagrees with them. At one board meeting, Weinstein attempted to prevent residents from speaking on the hotel issue because they had inadvertently failed to sign in. With so much obvious emotion on the hotel issue, one would have thought he would want our opinions. At the same meeting, Manna insisted on hearing the opinions of the hotel neighbors. For that, Weinstein accused Manna of grandstanding. Manna was not grandstanding. He was being a leader.