It is distressing to read in recent Views & Opinions that some in our community feel compelled to thank Steve Goldin for his efforts in winning the war of attrition with West Windsor.
I do not begrudge Mr. Goldin his victory. He obtained his property legally and has invested enormous time and resources to make his vision come to fruition. That is his right. But do we need to “thank” him? I find it odd that many feel compelled to applaud him for waging a protracted battle with our township in order to further his business and personal agendas.
Again, kudos go to him for winning — but not my thanks. Frankly, he should be thanking us for allowing our properties to fall into such disrepair and for being derelict in our responsibilities to better manage our hometown. Otherwise he would have paid far more for the opportunity to redevelop his corner of the township.
I certainly have no great love for some of the dilapidated properties on Route 571. Something really did need to be done. But I do not think that most of us moved to West Windsor with the thought that a multi-story parking facility would make us feel a greater sense of community. Must we forever dwell on how we can become the next Plainsboro or New Brunswick or Hamilton or Robbinsville or the holy grail –– Princeton?
If that is where you wanted to be, why did you move to West Windsor? I am sure our neighbors have plenty of room in their six-story condos and apartments, and parking in their high-rise garages, and shopping from dawn to dusk (perhaps 24 hours on the holidays). Do not get me wrong, I love all of these towns. I love to visit them and patronize the shops and restaurants, and I salute them for their vision of their communities. But that is not mine. Never was. That’s why I came here.
Those who came to the area 50 years ago probably said the same thing when they arrived. I just find it hard to imagine that they were thanking me and offering their appreciation to Hovnanian, Calton, and Toll Brothers for changing their landscape. Did it work out better? Maybe.
Progress is great but not for its own sake. Why is it necessary to deride those who want to maintain a life or lifestyle or sense of community that respects and cherishes the heritage and values of those who were here well before us? Must any effort to maintain any sense of the past be ridiculed as Luddite? Is it so bad to have a soft spot in our hearts for Lucar’s and Grover’s Mill and Lick It? Don’t need to go back there, just respect those who do care about them.
It is unfortunate that our town mismanaged some of its vital resources and that we spent many years and many of our own tax dollars fighting to undo our own shortsightedness. But I do not feel any need to laud Mr. Goldin for bringing his vision to my town. He seems perfectly capable of appreciating both himself and his portfolio without our help.
8 Jewel Road, West Windsor