Just So You Know.....                                                     4-27-2017

                    I am a Conservative Capitalist. I believe that people should be able to be able to do as they wish with their own property within the law.  If they are not cooking meth, stripping stolen cars, or running a prostitution ring, their business is their own.  

                    If someone likes to collect junk, they should be able to, as long as it is fenced-in and out of sight of other property owners, non-toxic, and not an extreme noise or odor issue. I also believe that selling one's property to whomever they choose, is their right as well. Even if it is a Corporate Chain Store. That being said, I find myself very conflicted. 

                     At the same time that I am a lover of freedom, even Sovereignty to a point, I am also a lover of history and think we should preserve as much of it as possible. Especially the few remaining, rural American towns that have yet to be marred by chain stores and commercial entities.  Like our own.  In making a heartfelt attempt to stop this loss of our 200-years of being a rural, non-commercial town, we MUST keep in mind that this is an action of the PEOPLE, and ONLY the People. 

                      At no time, should we attempt to use any government entity to state our case or fight our battle, which always results in government intervention that is unwanted and detrimental. We can CONSULT with EnCon or the EPA, but we must never allow them to use their bully tactics against any property owner or business.  As we begin this opposition movement to Dunkin Donuts, we must ensure that we proceed carefully and by using our voices and opinions, and most of all, NUMBERS as tools. 

                      CAN we force a referendum vote ? Probably not. CAN we petition? Sure, but who would we present that petition TO? Our town boards do not and SHOULD not have the power to decide if any business can open here based on its popularity or lack of.  They have zoning and planning guidelines to follow and that's that. As it should be.  CAN we demand that protections be written-in to our Comprehensive Plan to prevent future issues like this one? Sure, but that will not stop DD, as their application would pre-date any amendment to the Comp. Plan. 

                       From what I am seeing and hearing, the DD issue is divided among three groups, 1)  The majority of people over 50 are STRONGLY opposed to DD. 2) The residents under 50 seem to be in favor, probably due to their generation being much less concerned with history and preservation, and more interested in convenience and self-satisfaction. 3) The "I don't care one way or the other " group. These are the people who are concerned only with themselves, what's on TV, never vote, or have no idea what is going on in the world or that they should be doing SOMETHING to make it a better place for future generations.

                        I actually had one woman tell me that she is sick of pizza and Chinese food for dinner, and having to go to East Greenbush or Pittsfield for something different. LOLOL!!!! I had to laugh out loud at that one!  Number one, she could try COOKING, and number two, Dunkin Donuts doesn't offer Jelly-Filled Casserole Dinners! How in the HELL will DD solve HER complaint?!?!

                         In my heart, I am certain that New Lebanon will soon see pink and orange donut signs on Rt. 20. So why even bother fighting? Well, many of us want New Lebanon to remain rural and non-commercial, and most of all, for ME at least, when the other fast-food businesses come along, and they WILL, I can say that I did my best to stop it. I will deal with the outcome whatever it is, but I will have the peace of knowing that I TRIED.