Letter: Multi-Use Path Equals Village Center?

To the Editor:

The following comment was recently posted to Easton Facebook groups: “This is Andy Kachele. Other people keep talking about an existing pathway, I have not. I have said that before committing to a sidewalk we owe it to the public to properly explore alternatives. I’m optimistic about achieving cooperation from Aquarion, but I can’t guarantee it. What I can commit to is opposing a portion of the sidewalk that goes past the Easton Village store and will disrupt EMS operations during construction and, for that section, only benefit a private landowner seeking to use the Village District concept to develop a small commercial plaza. Many expressed legitimate concerns about safety for pedestrians going from Keller to EVS but I have not heard any explanation for why any sidewalk should go past the EVS.”

In response to Andy Kachele:

If you had left me out of this I was happy to simply let the town speak and accept the outcome. But, you just had to drag me in, like I am some evil force trying to destroy Easton. I have lived here 35 years, and God willing, will live out whatever years I have left here. Regarding the portion of the multi-use path between the Easton Village Store and Silverman’s Farm you say, “It will only benefit a private landowner seeking to use the Village District concept to develop a small commercial plaza.”

As you well know, I am that private landowner. There are only two zones in Easton; residential and farming. The only way Easton gets a Village Center is if the town wants it; not if I want it, or Andy doesn’t want it. So, just because of some personal obsession with a Village Center (that we’re not even voting on) you don’t want to connect the multi-use path to the single largest tourist attraction in town … that just happens to be the single largest farm in Easton. (A town that overwhelmingly wants to brand itself as a farming community) and already has an established, legal crosswalk to safely cross Sport Hill Road?

Easton is a business. We have a business plan to be a farming community. With your supposed financial acuity this shows poor financial leadership to disconnect Silverman’s Farm from the multi-use path.

You have exposed your “No Vote” on the multi-use path as a vote for your fixation against a Village Center, and not based on the safety and connectiveness it will provide. You have publicly predisposed your position, attempting to link the decision for a multi-use path with the fear of a Village Center, in advance of the vote that will ultimately be taken by the Board of Finance. You are the chair of the board and have influence over other members. This type of bias is unacceptable. You should have the financial well-being of the town and the safety of its residents in mind, and NOT the usual fear-mongering presented by your group to our community.

Let me point out a fact: MY portion of property frontage for the proposed multi-use path is the flattest and least encumbered of the entire path. It would cost less than 1% of the total cost to go across my property, linking the path to Silverman’s Farm. For less than 1% of the total cost of the multi-use path, you don’t want to connect to the largest farm attraction in Easton? Is that sound financial leadership?

Let me end with some facts:

  • I am not actively pursuing a Village Center
  • I am blessed to be in a financial situation that I do not need to further develop this property

Frank Lisi


Easton

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