Letter: In Pond View saga, facts trump opinions every time

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To the editor,

In response to the recent commentary by Ken Foley, (Time to set the record straight on the Pond View recycling site, The Post, Aug. 29 edition) it is clear that the record has been altered, muddled and rendered unrecognizable in Mr. Foley’s mind. He may believe as he likes but the facts run counter to his assertions.

In his commentary, the writer claimed that East Providence Zoning officer Ed Pimental, “…has vindicated, exonerated and otherwise proven that Pond View and Foley operations, from Day 1, have been responsible and law abiding.”

In 2011, the East Providence Zoning Board of Review ruled against Pond View 5-0 that the business was out of compliance with its 1998 use variance. Nothing about this fact implies vindication or exoneration. Mr. Foley also referred to, “The creation of a recent law by the General Assembly designed specifically to close my company, which required a certificate of compliance from the zoning board as a condition of permitting, has given the city of East Providence the perceived ability to regulate beyond their purview of its authority (commerce and environmental regulations) and to erroneously (purposely I believe) interpret their own zoning bylaws to satisfy a parochial, political vendetta.”

The recent law was not aimed at Mr. Foley’s company. It was passed so that all Rhode Islanders living within 1000 feet of a C & D facility would have a say in limiting the amount of material processed by these companies. Furthermore, the City of East Providence has every right to interpret and enforce their own laws, be it zoning or any other law.

Mr. Foley accused residents who spoke against Pond View at the Council meeting of August 20 of making, “anecdotal and unsubstantiated accusations regarding what my company has done to them without one ounce of proof…”

These remarks are an added insult to the many residents who are breathing in pollutants and dust from Pond View material being processed in the open air and only a short distance from their homes. If this company is so righteous, why did Mr. Foley issue an eviction notice against TLA- Pond View? The business was placed in receivership only a short time later. This is the main reason for jobs being lost.

Lastly, Mr. Foley accuses, “certain arrogant East Providence politicians”, of believing that they are “in a position to choose winners and losers and wastefully spend the taxpayer’s dollars…”

Mr. Foley, we elect politicians to empower them to choose. The question is not about “winners and losers”. The issue here is legal business operations and illegal business operations. Pond View occupies the latter description and residents opposing Pond View have every right to demand that the law be followed, no matter how far Pond View proponents stand from the truth.

Tim Norton

Rumford

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