You know when there are 2 board members who pretend that they are not acting with the majority of the board, that they are the compassionate ones, the decent ones, who care about the townsfolk, about the taxpayers, about doing the right thing, and then, there is a change of power. They have the protection of the majority, so they can pretend. Sometimes you will be fooled into believing them, and sometimes you will be confused by behavior that seems inconsistent. Then, the compassionate choice is suddenly the majority opinion. So what happened?
Back to Cornu, the big pink concrete house on Oscawana Lake Road. Years ago now, John Landi put this highly questionable red notice on the door, telling the two old people to get out.
There is lots of history there, but it is unimportant to what occurred from the red notice on. History’s only significance is the ability for people who should be taking care of the town to hold grudges and nurse them, no matter what.
So, this time around, everyone agreed that the town approved plan could not be used. The crazy old French man had been saying that for years to no avail. This time, there was an architect, and an attorney. But the town remained stuck in its mean, old grudge, and the architect and attorney could not get past that.
What happened next is appalling, although not without precedent in Putnam Valley. Mrs. Cornu gave up her claim to the house. Mr. Cornu took over his own defense. He requested an accommodation for his severe hearing loss. English is also his second language, so between language, age, and hearing loss, he really had no idea what was going on. The judge wasted a lot of the architect’s time, but seemed to dismiss everything he said. The resulting decision was so draconian, that even for Putnam County, it was a shock. While rebuilding was mentioned, it wasn’t included in the decision in any meaningful way, and a “referee” was appointed to do nothing but take the property away from the old man and charge $250 an hour against that property. Her name is Joan Iacono, Esq. When this horrible ruling came down, the Town Board gave Pierre permission to sell his house himself, and an email was sent to the referee. Now that the referee has decided to extract her payment, Pierre asked for clarification from the court. Mr. Lusardi, a long term Putnam Valley tax payer funded attorney, and now Zoning Board member, objected that the old man did not send him a copy of the letter. I guess he is still pretending that Pierre is competent to handle this all himself.
Anyway, the new judge said he would vacate by permission of all parties, and allow Pierre to sell his house, which was what the Town Board said they would do…. or at least, the Councilwomen, and Sam O. So why no action? Who was only pretending to have compassion? I can guess. The oddly, awkwardly announced executive session last night was about Cornu. It probably should have been a public discussion. Shouldn’t the taxpayers know how we drive old people out of our community?