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Valley’s attorney not behaving like a ‘good neighbor’

Letter: Valley’s attorney not behaving like a ‘good neighbor’
Friday October 4, 2013, 4:16 PM
The Ridgewood News

Valley’s attorney not behaving like a ‘good neighbor’
Lisa Baney

To the editor:

This past Monday, Sept. 30, there was a meeting of the village planning board on Valley Hospital’s current bid to essentially double in size at the corner of Linwood and North Van Dien avenues. The agenda focused on a long-awaited opportunity for a presentation by a professional planner, hired through donations by a large number of residents. He was the first expert witness to speak on the proposed expansion, to date, not speaking on behalf of Valley.

It is worth noting that this same independent planner had also appeared to present to the board on Aug. 20, but the meeting was postponed as he was about to speak, because the venue was not large enough. Over a hundred residents had gone home disappointed, but they, and many more, came back again this Monday, as did the speaker – which means more billed hours on the backs of those taxpayers donating for his time.

I write to comment on the style of Monday’s meeting, and the manner in which the attorney for the hospital interrupted the presenter at every turn. Approximately 500 people had gathered to hear his presentation, the majority of whom had left children at home, hired babysitters, gotten take-out food or arranged rides for their kids from evening activities. Many left work early, or skipped their own dinner to get there. Of course that is part of the public process, much like, in this case, the need to donate money to have an independent expert make a presentation after all the hospital’s presentations were made over several previous months.

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7 thoughts on “Valley’s attorney not behaving like a ‘good neighbor’

  1. I didn’t make the meeting but I have no trouble believing Lisa’s description.

    Valley is all “lawyered up” and they will stop at nothing to humiliate their opposition in order to build their Taj Mahal.

  2. Lisa Baney’s letter is spot on. I was there.

  3. What is the attorney’s name and what is the name of his law firm? Boycot him, his firm, and any company that uses him or his firm.

  4. All true, but do you think that his behavior is important to Valley or the PB ? Not really. Ugly as it may be, he is doing his job for Valley. And based on the insulting rhetoric aimed at the members of the PB so far, you would think he would have been told by now to tone it down a bit, by either Valley or someone on the board. I guess Valley does not really care about it ‘s image either. Let’s just hope the PB cares enough about the image of the resident’s/town. I really hope that is the ONLY image they are concerned about.

  5. I attended. It’s an accurate depiction of Drills behavior. ThePB and Gail Price caved. The people are losing!

  6. Valley’s attorney is an insult to Ridgewood and everyone who lives here regardless of what side of the issue you’re on.

    Want to know what Valley thinks of you? Come to the next meeting.

  7. There is an utter lack of balance/fairness in this whole process, and it is disgusting the way the people of the Village of Ridgewood are being treated by Valley and it’s legal team. It is nothing less than corporate bullying.

    Valley has been permitted to trot out their bevy of PAID experts – people who have everything to gain from presenting expansion plans in glowing terms (“traffic will improve!” Right.). Because lowly residents could not afford legal representation during these many hours of testimony, we could not officially object to anything said by these “experts,” who were basically being given a job interview.

    When we finally got the chance to tell our side of the story, we were interrupted at every turn. We could not refer to past testimony from Valley’s experts because, as Mr. Drill pointed out, we had not objected at the time (remember, we didn’t have a lawyer, so we couldn’t object) and the testimony is over. A letter from the Health Department was introduced last spring by Valley’s planner in order to support Valley’s new bedcount. But we are now being blocked from referring to this letter because, according to Drill, it is “irrelevant” (Valley’s use of this letter is very contradictory). Talk about cherry-picking…

    Drill is permitted to steam roll right over us, and he is disrespectful. Certain PB members are, in addition, permitted to drone on and on with no question in sight….but if we from the large audience of people who oppose this terrible expansion so much as sigh, we are admonished and threatened by the Chairman.

    We have been treated as enemies, adversaries, and with condescension when, in fact, we are the people who live here, who pay taxes here, who depend upon our community boards to protect us and our way of life. WE are the *experts* on the topic of Ridgewood. We know more about the streets, the traffic, the children, the noise than any hired gun—and we know that the Valley expansion is a disaster waiting to happen.

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