Letter: Astorino and Bramson: Each as bad as the other

To the Editor,
I have been a Democrat all of my life because I have profound philosophical differences with the tenets of the Republican Party on a vast array of issues, ranging from immigration reform to abortion policy to the role of government. But, it has been said that all politics is local.

As reported in your newspapers on Sept. 6, Robert Astorino has engaged in unfair campaign practices with “false, misleading and out-of-context statements.” In other words, he is no different from any other politician. No wonder Americans have so little faith in their politicians.

Noam Bramson isn’t any better.

Several years ago, there was a proposal to build the largest IKEA on the east coast in New Rochelle, in the area between Fifth Avenue and the New England Expressway. It would have involved the use of eminent domain to expropriate the property of numerous small businesses, and a few residences, in order to build a private structure and would have been a disaster from a traffic point of view for the surrounding communities. One could only imagine the back-ups on Weaver Street—a two-lane road—and Pine Brook Boulevard, a residential street, which are the logical roads anyone coming from any other direction than I-95 would have had to use.

There was no support for this project and it took a great deal of effort by numerous community groups and local governments to squash the project. But the project was Bramson’s baby and he pushed hard for it. I don’t know what short-term gain he saw except for an increase in sales tax revenue for New Rochelle, but the cost to the surrounding communities would have been horrendous. Indeed, it showed a total disregard for anything but his parochial interests. I cannot vote for someone who so actively supported such a poorly conceived project.

In the end, we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. Maybe it is better to stay with the devil that we know rather than the devil we don’t know. Clearly, Westchester deserves better.

Stephen Kronenberg,