Editor, The Spotlight:
What do you say when your town is offered the most iconic piece of property at a fraction of its value? What do you say to volunteers, a real estate agent and a family work out a way to preserve this very land for years to come, maintenance free? Well, if you’re Ballston’s Councilwoman Mary Beth Hynes, you say “Don’t put a gun to my head”. Even though she was informed of the proposal’s development over a month ago, even though she was told there is increasing pressure to sell the land and even after she previously championed the public purchase of the same land to preserve “Open Space”, Councilwoman Hynes said “Don’t put a gun to my head”.
I would expect that the residents would be thrilled by the Cappiello family’s offer. And they were thrilled. Most of those who spoke in favor of allowing the voters to choose thanked the Cappiello family. Anyone who knows about property value knows that 272 acres for $600,000 is not just a great offer, it is a gift. The family was gracious enough to give the town time for a vote, but when their offer was stopped dead in its tracks with “Don’t put a gun to my head,” they were hurt and insulted. I don’t really know how it feels to be trying to do something for the town I loved, at a huge financial sacrifice, and be insulted. The offer is gone now, the efforts of many wasted. Stop and take a picture of the Cappiello Farm and treasure it. We know we would have treasured it too, had we been given the chance.