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I am writing in response to your Sept. 2 editorial (“Bayside’s Grinches Go to Court”), in which you take issue with my position that the upcoming two-year expansion project at St. Mary’s Hospital must be done in a manner that does not destroy the quality of life of my constituents who live in the surrounding residential community.
Let me begin with a point we both agree on. The people at St. Mary’s do wonderful work. They help sick children and their families. There is no more worthy cause to support. That is why in the short period that I have been in office I have fought for additional funding for St. Mary’s so it can continue to do work.
This includes recent funding of hundreds of thousands of dollars so the hospital’s data systems can be upgraded. I helped the hospital explore geothermal energy options on the site to further green the building and have attended multiple events there in my months in office. Going forward, I will continue to work with St. Mary’s to obtain additional funding. Likewise, I support St. Mary’s expansion, as it will allow the hospital to serve additional children and their families.
But that does not mean that as the local councilman I will abdicate my obligation to stand up for the neighbors of St. Mary’s. I was elected in large part based upon my commitment to stop development that threatens our residential communities. I believe that ensuring that the St. Mary’s expansion is done in a manner that minimizes the effects on the residents’ quality of life is part of that commitment.
I have worked with St. Mary’s over the past few months, and to its credit the hospital agreed to restrict work on nights and weekends, minimize noise produced during construction and limit the amount of heavy construction equipment traveling down residential streets. These were legitimate concerns of St. Mary’s’ neighbors and I was glad the hospital agreed to take steps to address those concerns.
Finally, I want to mention the lawsuit recently filed by a number of St. Mary’s’ neighbors. Your editorial seems to suggest that I am somehow involved with the lawsuit. This is not the case. In fact, I first learned of the lawsuit from the St. Mary’s administration on the day the suit was filed.
Like you, I am saddened that this matter ended up in court. I hope the lawsuit is resolved quickly and the hospital expansion can proceed in a manner that is respectful of the neighbors’ quality of life.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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