2001-11-10 / Letters

Beware Of Baxter

Beware Of Baxter

Dear Editor;

I am writing to reply to John Baxter's letter of November 3, 2001 "SRO
Controversy Grows." I am a life-long left-liberal and a former board member of the New York Civil Liberties Union, so I'm quite certain that my credentials as an advocate for law-abiding working class people are far better than those of John Baxter, the owner of Baxter's Hotel, one of the blighted SROs on Beach 116th Street that has long kept the Rockaways from improving the quality of life in our area. After all, I'm not a slumlord who makes his living exploiting welfare recipients and the disabled poor along with the career criminals who constitute the pious Mr. Baxter's tenants, and I don't lie about my own self-interest and fabricate lurid charges of "discrimination" against the people who, over Baxter, The Slumlord's objections, have finally
succeeded in ending the slumlords' long reign in the Rockaways.

Poor people can live in clean, safe, affordable housing in the Rockaways, the New York City Housing Authority apartments, with licensed contractors complying with the building code, security, recreation, heat in the winter, repairs, new windows, etc. etc. etc.

Aside from lining his own pockets, what is the pious Mr. Baxter's justification for operating a dirty, seedy, rundown, unsafe out-of-compliance SRO where poor people live in
squalor while paying the pious Mr. Baxter a monthly rent wildly more expensive than an apartment in a NYCHA building? Why doesn't the
self-righteous slumlord assist his tenants in obtaining a better place to
live for less rent? The answer is obvious: John Baxter is a liar and a
hypocrite. John Baxter is a greedy slumlord.  John Baxter is blight on
the Rockaways.

John Baxter has now invented a "Big Lie" that crooked city officials and the "Rockaway Establishment" conspired to fabricate trumped-up violations against innocent "family" landlords so as to "discriminate" against the hard-working, law-abiding tenants of the SROs who, not coincidentally, lined the pockets of, among other families, the Baxter family.

It certainly has the ring of truth to it, makes sense, and provides a more compelling drama than saying publicly "I want the loot!!!" Figuring "The best defense is a good offense," Baxter has now filed a wildly absurd and frivolous lawsuit against the responsible, progressive folks who fought so hard to get rid of the parasites like John Baxter.

I'd like to issue a public challenge to John Baxter: At my expense, allow
me to have a licensed engineering firm inspect Baxter's Hotel in a one-day inspection during normal business hours, from basement to roof, and provide copies of their report of their findings to you, to me, to The Wave, and to the NYC Building Department and Fire Department etc. 

If the engineers do not find a minimum of two (2) serious violations which, under law and code, mandate that Baxter's Hotel is unsafe and unfit for human habitation and must be evacuated, then I will pay you $25,000. In other words, I'll spot you the first serious, dangerous violation that makes the premises uninhabitable under the law and NYC code.

Since a "family landlord" like you
undoubtedly provide your wonderful tenants with a wonderful habitat second only to the Four Seasons Hotel, you have absolutely nothing to fear and it's the easiest $25,000 you ever made in your life, even for an entrepreneurial hotelier like you.

Anyone who believes that John Baxter will allow the engineers to inspect Baxter's Hotel should contact John Baxter to hear Baxter's theory of how JFK, crooked city officials and the Rockaway Establishment murdered Frank Sinatra at the behest of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I've got the $25,000 and John Baxter has his unsafe, seedy, rundown-busted valise of a hovel where he sucks the bucks from the pockets of the exploited poor like a reverse Robin Hood. I say Baxter's Hotel is illegally and unlawfully occupied in violation of law and code in at least two serious, dangerous violations, and I'm ready to put up. John Baxter is never going to shut up but he's not letting me have an independent licensed engineering firm go in to inspect either.

Baxter won't shut up, just as Bill Clinton will never stop lying, but that doesn't mean anyone has to pay attention when John Baxter tells his fractured fairy tales from "Rocky & Bullwinkle" after his actions speak louder than his words when, for whatever pretext, he declines my offer to hand over a large sum of money to him for simply not having more than one dangerous, serious violation in Baxter's Hotel. John Baxter is a liar, a hypocrite, and a parasite, and those are his good qualities.  
HOWIE SIROTA


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