We had written a 1,500-word editorial for this week’s paper, decrying how some Cazenovians are so terrified of change they do not see that change can, and often does, come in the form of necessary progress; we criticized short-sighted and obstructionist residents and certain members of the village board who, because of this mindset, throw up roadblocks against proposals and projects rather than provide for a more economically and culturally vibrant community; we encouraged entrepreneurs to populate municipalities that will welcome them with open arms to their borders, such as they do in the town of Nelson. Our editorial, our pouring out a plenitude of frustrations, regarded last Monday’s public hearing on the requested zone change for the proposed expansion of Eric Burrell’s office building at 4 Chenango St., the purpose of which was to build a new home for local restaurant Circa.
The room full of spectators was shocked at the meeting to hear that Burrell, having heard his Chenango Street neighbors’ concerns about placing a restaurant in their neighborhood, changed his proposal and decided to eschew the Circa plan. Instead, he amended his request to allow him to build the expansion to add extra office space onto his existing office building. The Chenango and Mill street neighbors had been saying for months that they don’t oppose Burrell or Circa owner Alicyn Hart personally, that they don’t oppose business or business expansion in the village, they just did not want a restaurant on their street. Imagine everyone’s surprise last week then, when the neighbors stood up and said their opposition was never about the restaurant, it was always about the proposed zone change.
After a week of reflection on this, we have come to the realization that there is a larger issue here — there is a decision of whether we, as a community, view these and other related events as a further blight on our reputation, or we see in these events an innate sense of hope.