Lack of Respect

Sep 25, 2019

To the Editor:

I wish to share my outrage toward the Long Beach Township Land Use Board. I recently attended my first LBT Land Use Board meeting and was appalled at the way homeowners and businesses were treated.

I have attended approximately 20 land use board hearings in Pennsylvania and New York and have never seen anything close to this type of lack of respect and rudeness before. Local people tell me that every LBT Land Use Board hearing is run the same way – rude and disrespectful and usually no to the applicant.

Board Chairperson Lynne Schnell spoke to the homeowners and businesses like they were prisoners in a jail. One handicapped homeowner with two knee replacements only wanted a small addition on his bedroom to help him get around better, and said he would spend his entire life savings on this small addition. However, Chairperson Schnell and Vice Chairman Jeff Konnor told him to add on a second floor with an elevator, costing about $150,000. The disabled man said he couldn’t afford $150,000 and was crying out for help.

In another case that night, a homeowner wanted to replace his old, falling-down screened-in porch and the board turned that down also because it was 1 foot too high. The man got up from his seat and said in a muffled voice, “F*** this land use board.” When he got out into the hallway he said, “They are building castles all over this island and I can’t even replace my old screened-in porch.”

It got a lot worse. In the last hearing of the night with Lorry’s Island End Motel, where Mr. Hutson was only trying to get more housing for his much-needed employees, Mr. Konnor and Ms. Schnell continued and outdid their previous rude and disrespectful behavior toward Mr. Hutson.

Mr. Konnor, are you not aware that Mr. Hutson has successfully owned and operated Lorry’s Motel for 30 years and has had thousands of guests from 48 states and 44 countries? Chairperson Schnell raised her already very high level of rudeness and disrespect to a new level as she asked Mr. Hutson’s attorney to hurry up and finish his case so she could go home, and then later they voted no.

Wow, Mayor Mancini, can’t you do better than these two rude, disrespectful officials who control board hearings and talk over everyone very loudly and seem to get pleasure out of hurting your homeowners, business owners and LBT voters?

Jim Gremli

Honesdale, Pa., and Long Beach Township

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