Friday, December 08, 2006

Two Kuliks?

Are there two different individuals named Michael Kulik who reside in Plattsburgh, NY?

The reason why I ask this question is that I’ve spotted that particular name in the local daily newspaper on a few occasions. In regards to an income-restricted housing project in downtown Plattsburgh, a Mike Kulik supports the decision, criticizing anyone who opposes the mayor’s favorable vote.

At the same time there’s a Michael Kulik who doesn’t want an apartment house built near his neighborhood, an area secluded from downtown.

The proposed low-to-middle-income housing for downtown is referred to as The Bove Project. It would be built on a convenient, centrally-located parking lot. Some critics of the Bove project say they have nothing against low-income working families, but they feel the spot should remain set aside for parking. The pro-Bove crowd feel that these critics are just confusing the issue, that some people are prejudiced against people with limited incomes.

In a letter to the editor (Press Republican – Nov. 26, 2006), a Mike Kulik wrote:

“This whole thing isn't about a crummy parking lot being replaced by attractive, affordable housing for low- to middle-income families. It's all about the law of the jungle or, at least, the law of the street gang.

In the movie West Side Story the ‘Jets’ had a piece of the block they didn't want to share with the Puerto Ricans. Well, that parking lot at the corner of Margaret and Court was the tiny piece of the block that our own gang of businessmen wanted to control until they decided what to do with it, if anything.”

Meanwhile, a Michael Kulik who lives in the Hamilton Street area is opposed to an apartment complex being proposed near his home. In a newspaper article (Press Republican – Oct. 12, 2006) his letter to the city zoning board was discussed. He and his co-writer, Jennifer Colver, said the development appeared to be “a slum in the making.” This project is being promoted by developer James Latinville.

In his letter Kulik also stated: “[Mr. Latinville’s] apartment houses have driveway paving right up to the doorsteps and porches, little green space considering the number of residents, no outdoor storage, no screening for privacy and poor drainage in places… These shoddy apartment buildings undermine the value of the single-family houses the developer has sold nearby."

Assuming there is only one Michael Kulik (the phonebook lists only one), there is a common solution to the problems being caused by the Bove and Latinville projects.

Cancel the Latinville project and move the Bove development over to Kulik’s neighborhood. After all, Kulik doesn’t think the Bove project is a slum, unlike Latinville’s apartments. And since he is an advocate of low-to-middle-income families, Kulik can’t be accused of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

And if there’s two different Michael Kuliks, I think they should get together and debate the merits of my solution.

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