Weinstein never made any effort to stop hotel

Amherst Town Supervisor Barry Weinstein replies to a letter printed in The News that “I must correct an often-repeated complaint directed toward myself and the Amherst Town Board from anti-development residents. As town supervisor, I have no authority to stop the development of the Iskalo Hyatt Hotel …”

The Snyder homeowners who have opposed the construction of a six-story Hyatt Place Hotel next to the Lord Amherst Motel are not anti-development. They simply don’t want a six-story hotel in their back yards. The hotel would change the character of their neighborhood and invade the privacy of those living near it.

On March 11, about 150 Snyder residents attended an Amherst Town Board meeting concerning the hotel. My wife asked the board: “Would you want to have a six-story hotel in your back yard?” None of the board members – except Mark Manna, who said he would not – would answer her question. Their silence was shameful and revealing. At that same meeting, Weinstein tried to prevent Snyder residents from speaking to the board because they had not signed in before the meeting.

Weinstein may not have the “authority” to stop the Iskalo Hyatt Hotel, but he can influence other government officials. He showed no leadership in addressing the concerns of the homeowners. A petition signed by 450 of them went unanswered. While Weinstein, as a member of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency, voted against tax breaks for the hotel, he did so knowing the measure would pass and made no effort to persuade his fellow IDA members that tax breaks were inappropriate. Amherst voters cannot hold Weinstein solely responsible for the hotel, but he made no effort to stop it.

David Kernan