Many of you responded to JoEllen Gardner's call for letters to both Assemblyman McEneny and Senator Breslin - either by passing along her suggested letter or by offering your own.
Thanks to everyone who spoke up! Thanks to Jack McEneny for listening to us and offering his support!
Jack's letter appears below -
The Assembly - State of New York
JOHN J. MC ENENY- Member of Assembly
Oct. 21, 2009
George M. Philip
University at Albany
1400 Washington Ave. UNH #302
Albany, NY 12220
Once again, let me congratulate you on your selection as president of the University at Albany, one of the economic engines in this area and a jewel among the SUNY system.
There are many challenges and opportunities ahead of you, and I am certain you will be very successful. Unfortunately, I fear the University is about to plunge into a quagmire of Town-Gown hostility by encroaching on its nearby residential neighbors. The campus is extensively scarred by surface-level parking lots, with proper environmental planning any one of which could be site for new dormitories. In the process, the parking-lot water runoff problem could be dealt with. Dormitories over parking lots would provide 'covered' parking, and something much appreciated when it snows and something students and faculty might be willing to subsidize with higher parking fees.
The Eagle Hill residents are mostly long-time supporters and backers of the University at Albany, especially since the academic podium plan promised wide barriers between university buildings and their homes. This is an area of substantial one-family homes, some occupied by the same family for two or three generations. These neighbors should be treated with respect and left alone on their quiet residential streets.
I urge you to get your tenure off on the correct foot by putting an end to this second plan to intrude on the neighbors. The destruction of the ecologically valuable pine forest is still a painful memory for many people. I strongly urge you to change direction on this very sensitive issue.
John J. McEneny
Member of Assembly
cc: Neighborhood Associations