1999-08-28 / Letters

Due Process Is Needed

Dear Editor;

You have been very generous giving me space in the Bag of Mail, and it wouldn’t surprise me that some folks near the post office in Rockaway Beach wonder why you let me appear at all. But, could I add a couple of paragraphs to appeal to your readers who don’t believe the words "due process" are null and void, who don’t believe that demonizing people is fair play?

Is it not strange that no public official, elected or chief of staff, has rushed to this column to deny my concern that there is a scheme afoot to wipe out the Dayton Seaside owners, a scheme that is contrary to everything our constitution stands for?

Isn’t anybody curious that officials, elected or chief of staff, don’t think the Dayton Seaside owners, or their representatives, should be invited to meetings, on the future of Dayton Seaside? Is that what America means today?

Now, in addition to my letters in The Wave, I have, on occasion, taken out ads about the Dayton Seaside "tax mess" as The Wave aptly calls it. If I am "the landlord" isn’t anybody curious why my ads are taken only in my name, not in the name of management or the owners? If I am "the landlord" wouldn’t my ads be published in the name of this development?

I don’t like to see anybody demonized, anybody. And I think most of you are turned off by that kind of thing, which takes us down the road to bigotry.

And you know what else is ugly? Putting innocent people in the line of bureaucratic fire. It is wrong to let government do that kind of thing-to tenants and to owners. But some people who rightly criticize a situation that makes tenants seem like "hostages" go right ahead to make owners look like demons.

There are people who are annoyed by my writing on both sides of the Dayton Seaside dispute. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have to cite Madison’s call for leaders to serve the common good only in my name. I write this on August 24, a day when there will be more vitriol spouted in connection with a Dayton Seaside court proceeding. But for me, this is the birthday of Annie Zukerman, my mom, who would have been 93 today. My mom had the strongest sense of right and wrong of anybody I know. I bet most of you also have a strong sense of right and wrong. On this August 24, that’s my bet.

Just two more points-does Borough President Shulman not recall that three years ago she told tenant leaders, in the presence of Assemblymember Pheffer, that they had "won" on the issue of the back taxes? If that was true, why do those taxes continue to be an issue?

And is the local TV news crew that appears at Dayton Seaside the day before court proceedings not aware of the sage observation of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: "…there is no public benefit in having lies told at any time…"?

DAVID R. ZUKERMAN

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