John Thomas 1 
Member since Dec 28, 2017

Recent Comments

Re: “City Council narrowly passes Cobbs Hill Village legislation

David4, you can figure out the yes votes; just look at the Council roster. I disagree with you, the yes voters deserve our praise for considering the 130 people who need affordable housing and for helping to deconcentrate our poverty problems from our poorer neighborhoods.

Posted by John Thomas 1 on 07/26/2018 at 9:59 PM

Re: “Yet another attempt to improve city schools

As one of the original visitors to Raleigh with the Great Schools for All group, I have seen the success of Raleigh schools based largely on regional magnet schools with goals of no more than 40% poverty rates in each school They are not perfect, but they do a much better job than segregated Rochester. GS4A believes RCSD can no longer do it alone because of over-whelming poverty. Voluntary regional schools are needed. What is taking so long to implement them? Could it just be our racism?

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by John Thomas 1 on 07/25/2018 at 3:00 PM

Re: “To our CITY readers: changes, and an invitation

City paper has been around 47 years! Wow! I have been around for 39 of those years and have been an avid City reader since then (even back when it was a subscription service). I think we need to pause and thank the Towlers for the years of dedicated service to our community. Not many medium sized cities have such a city-focused paper. Dayton Ohio from whence I came certainly did not. A BIG thank you

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Thomas 1 on 07/18/2018 at 4:08 PM

Re: “Feedback 5/16

I believe the Coalition for Cobbs Hill Park is playing with fire when they filed a lawsuit against the City of Rochester and others over the Cobbs Hill Village improvement project (even before City Council has made a decision). One of the challenges in the Coalition lawsuit is whether the plan for Cobbs Hill Village complies with the original deed restrictions when the land was given to Cobbs Hill Park back in the early 1900s. I believe this claim is opening a can of worms and is in the category of be careful what you ask for because you might just get it.

The judge could rule the 44 new residential units in the plan does not meet the deed restrictions. But then what happens to the 60 existing residents who would have been in violation of the deed restrictions for over 60 years? Should they remain or be evicted? I certainly hope no judge would be so cruel as to evict the existing residents, but the lawsuit does open the door to that possibility. I especially ask the Tenant Association and the six tenants who are plaintiffs if they really want to raise this issue since they could be the ones evicted. On the other hand, one of the goals of the Coalition has always been to return the housing site to park land by 2041. Maybe the lawsuit is just a way to accomplish their goal well before 2041. Oh what a complicated web we weave.

John Thomas

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by John Thomas 1 on 05/17/2018 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Feedback 5/16

I believe the Coalition for Cobbs Hill Park is playing with fire when they filed a lawsuit against the City of Rochester and others over the Cobbs Hill Village improvement project even before a City Council decision has been made. One of the challenges in the Coalition lawsuit is whether the plan for Cobbs Hill Village complies with the original deed restrictions (when the land was given to Cobbs Hill Park back in the early 1900s). I believe this claim is opening a can of worms and is in the category of be careful what you ask for because you might just get it.

The judge could rule the 44 new residential units in the plan does not meet the deed restrictions. But then what happens to the 60 existing residents who would have been in violation of the deed restrictions for over 60 years? Should they remain or be evicted? I certainly hope no judge would be so cruel as to evict the existing residents, but the lawsuit does open the door to that possibility. I especially ask the Tenant Association and the six tenants of Cobbs Hill Village who are plaintiffs if they really want to raise this issue since they could be the ones evicted. On the other hand, one of the goals of the Coalition has always been to return the housing site to park land by 2041. Maybe this is just a way to accomplish their goal well before 2041. Oh what a complicated web we weave.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John Thomas 1 on 05/17/2018 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Feedback 4/25

In response to Mr. Seagers April 11th Feedback column, of course, the Coalition for Cobbs Hill Park never said to evict 60 existing residents, they instead used the euphemism return this land to parkland. But it is not hard for City readers to see that in order to return this land to parkland one must evict 60 existing residents. The Coalition has said over and over that is their intent, most notably in their comments and supporting documents to the City Planning Commission dated June 8, 2017, and I quote, Our position.City Council should put in motion whatever is necessary to return the plot to Cobbs Hill Park.1 This and many other statements are on the public record; how can it be denied by Mr. Seager or anyone else?

I must admit I did notice a rather devious shift in the Coalition strategy when the January 5, 2018 Upper Monroe Neighborhood News said, please attend and show your support [to deny the Cobbs Hill Village modernization] at the January 8th Planning Commission hearing on Cobbs Hill Village, but the Planning Commission should NOT be petitioned to return the land to park. Should the case move forward, there will be an opportunity, likely soon, to petition the City Council to prevent any extension of the Reverter Clause [of the Cobbs Hill property] and PAVE THE WAY FOR THE EVENTUAL RETURN OF THE LAND. [emphasis added]. Thus the Coalition wants to evict the 60 residents, just not mention this goal for now. This allows them to claim to be concerned about the rising rents in order to stop the whole project.

The problem with this he said/no I didnt say tit for tat, is that the lives of about 130 low income residents hang in the balance. These poor elderly residents are being used like pawns in a game. I call this elderly abuse. What do you call it? I just hope City Council does not fall for this fake concern for the elderly.
Note 1: https://maps.cityofrochester.gov/arcssl/re… Commissions_public/mapserver/0/1257/attachments/2001 See pages 300-302.

1 like, 9 dislikes
Posted by John Thomas 1 on 04/29/2018 at 3:35 PM

Re: “Cobbs Hill Village plan heads to a vote

While I respect the Coalition for Cobbs Hill Park for being concerned about the future of the City, I'm appalled by their position of evicting the existing low-income residents by 2041 and "returning this land to park land". They show crocodile tears for increased rent when they really want to eliminate the existing low-income residents altogether. How is this humane?

I predict that if the project is turned-down, the Coalition members will disappear into the woodwork when the hard work of determining how/where to place the existing senior low-income residents is tackled. We have enough mean-spiritedness at the federal level, we don't need more at the local level.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by John Thomas 1 on 12/28/2017 at 11:52 AM

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