Monday, June 18, 2007

This is your brain on drugs

Given the statements Bruce Levinsky chucked at The Saratogian this weekend, it’s a wonder the Partnership for a Drug-Free America hasn’t solicited him to headline their latest public service announcement campaign. Yes, it appears as though the pugilistic developer has once again aimed his vitriol at the City Council, the Design Review Commission and the Preservation Society; all of which has apparently prevented him from full-filling his obligation to prevent the Rip Van Dam from falling in on itself. In his recent correspondence with city Mayor Valerie Keehn, he even singled out the poor owners of the Adelphi, who are presently reinforcing their courtyard table umbrellas with titanium.

Levinsky claims that the city Department of Public Works provided him with “incorrect information” to locate a water main his workers obviously ruptured somehow. And when he wanted the main shut down, he claims DPW Director Bill McTygue told him to screw off in no specific terms. Meanwhile, he claims, the recalcitrant Adelphi owners are callously serving “cocktails” in their courtyard, despite the looming threat of raining bricks.

Let’s back up here for a minute. First, Levinsky does everything in his power to prevent stabilization efforts at his building, in essence allowing more than seven years of hard weather to take its toll on the dilapidated wing. Then, when the city orders him to stabilize it, he kicks and screams like a little child, claiming there’s no way he’ll be able to do such a project financially. Finally, when the city gives him more than two months two wreck the wing, he drags his feet until nearly three weeks past the deadline without even giving a remotely plausible excuse, like ‘my dog at the blueprints.’

Now, Levinsky has the unabashed hubris to fault the Adelphi for running a business that he’s done nothing but harm with his own reckless stubbornness? But wait, it gets better. Levinsky claims his own frustration is only eclipsed by his “anger as a taxpayer to this total disregard for the safety of innocent bystanders, who are threatened by the foolish agendas of these city officials.”

Agendas? City Officials? Get this man a crack pipe, Maude. In his mounting dementia, Levinsky must have forgotten his own agenda, which is to build a monolithic convention hall around a historic building, leaving intact only the front façade. And he must also forget that is was his own doing –not that of the Adelphi owners –that led to the wing being unsafe in the first place.

True, the city has been cool to any plan or idea that bears Levinsky’s name and rightfully so. There is a certain decorum and candor that most civil people carry if they want to get things done in Saratoga Springs. Kicking open the city council chamber doors and giving them all the middle finger is not the type of decorum and candor that gets things done in any city, much less the Spa City.

So what exactly is Levinsky thinking by appealing to the mayor? Well, he’s thinking he has an ally. As anyone living in the 12866 zip code could attest, there is no love between the Keehniacs and the Brothers’ McTygue. But there is a bit of warm feeling between Keehn’s political ambitions and Levinsky, who was incidentally an ardent supporter of the charter revisionists, of who Keehn was a leading proponet. Yes, there’s more than one feather shared among this pair of birds, especially with Keehn needing every ally she can get after getting the boot from the city Dems.

But the incumbent mayor must tread lightly in these waters. Levinsky is not a liked man in the city, especially after he swooped into Broadway during the mid-90s and single-handedly destroyed two popular local businesses. Some forget that it was Levinsky’s buggering that did away with the immensely popular Madeline’s coffee shop in the Granite Palace on Broadway. It was also Levinsky who forced the owners of Jacksland’s Bistro –the restaurant directly across the street –out of the city to bring Starbucks; a business that undoubtedly influenced his decision to kick Madeline’s to the curb.

No doubt, the city council back then had theses two actions in mind when they told Levinsky to shove off with his plans for the Rip Van Dam. Needless to say, old grudges don’t heal quickly around here, which is something Keehn should take into consideration when dealing with this situation. From the outset, it appears as though she’s contemplating using Levinsky as the proverbial battering ram to knock into the DPW again; after all, Levinsky’s letters to the mayor’s office didn’t appear at The Saratogian’s doorstep on their own.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Suddenly Mr. Levinsky is worried about the people at the Adelphi... I thought be believed the bricks falling were an "act of god". Now he admits that the building is falling down. You own this building Mr. Levinsky, you are the responsible party. It's not a stretch to beleive that his foreman had words with someone from the city. He has words with everyone. I can't believe suddenly they did not know where the water mains are. I believe when they took the first part of the building down they broke the water main... so why don't they know where it is? Why, because his foreman acts without thinking and does not have the background nor experience to be dealing with this building. Mr. Levinsky lacks the abiltiy to work with city officials and his foreman lacks the ability to work with anyone. Mr. Levinsky needs to get on with it and stop complaining and placing blame on everyone else. Get your "!@!@" in order, get the proper permits, get the paper work correct and get on with it. Get the right people in there and get it done.... or is that he is not financially prepared to bring this to an end.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Levinsky speaks of other people's agendas. What about his. He has always wanted to tear this building down, you would think he would have been prepared when they finally gave him the okay. What is up with that?

A muzzle for Mr. Saxton, his foreman, might also be appropriate.

9:38 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

View My Stats