Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Paper tigers

City leaders should get off the fence before they get splinters lodged in their asses. It’s time to give Bruce Levinsky a good kick in the teeth for flagrantly violating the city’s orders and being a generally ornery bastard.

Levinsky continues to maintain the historic wing of the Rip Van Dam must be demolished, which is an assertion that gained a bit of credence Tuesday when the city’s engineer said it would be difficult to save the building, the Post Star reported. But demolishing the structure gives Levinsky exactly what he’s wanted even before he sparred with the preservation society in 2002.

Levinsky has virtually begged for a fine after waving his middle finger at the city for the past four years. Yet to date, there’s been no indication from City Hall that he’s received a single citation for a building that’s been dropping bricks on the abutting Adelphi Courtyard since the spring. Where’s the code enforcer? Where’s the building inspector? Where is the leadership in City Hall? Where the bloody hell is the Mayor?

City leaders continue to prattle on about the building at council meetings rather than taking definitive action to put a rope around the neck of this rouge developer. Of course, this pack of gutless city council pukes is no different than the last to ignore Levinsky’s bullying or the Van Dam issue. After all, it has been an issue more than four years in the making.

As Public Safety Commissioner Ronald Kim said Tuesday, the city council is looking more and more like a “paper tiger” as they waffle on this issue. Any other common citizen would have been tarred and feathered by now for owning a property that not only posses a danger to surrounding businesses but the public in general. In this case, there should be no “look” to fine or “considering” of a penalty; in the immortal words of the Nike Corporation, Just Do It.

With this said, Levinsky should be retroactively fined the maximum ammount allowable by law. Call a special meeting and sieze his building for it’s assessed value via eminent domain proceedings, the justification being the protection of business and the public. The structural problems can then either be rectified through controlled demolition or by remediation, with the building being sold afterward at public auction any proceeds going to benefit the city preservation foundation.

But such an action would take solid leadership and ferocious assertion, something this council hasn’t exactly displayed as of late. Perhaps the city council should wander down to the Ashville Game Farm and take some notes from Calcutta instead of making her likenesses with origami.

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