By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Hudi Poldolsky, Jay Bosley and Aviva Schneider want to make sure that everyone in Cooperstown has a chance to make their objections about the proposed Dunkin Donuts known.
“HPARB, the Planning Board and the Trustees are all volunteers, but they have a very narrow scope,” said Bosley. “They can’t do the things citizens can do. They can’t tell Dunkin Donuts that we want Stagecoach coffee and Schneider’s donuts. They need that support from the community.”
On Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m., they will host a letter writing party at Templeton Hall. “Our goal is 1,621 letters,” said Bosley. “That’s the number of Cooperstown residents who are eligible to vote.”
“But kids can write in too,” said Schneider.
In early October, HPARB held a public comment period on the proposed Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins on Walnut Street in the Village. Over 100 people attended, and none of them spoke in favor of the project.
“At the urging of some friends, we put together this ad hoc group to encourage Dunkin to find a different location.” said Poldolsky.
Additionally, Schneider lives on Walnut Street, and Polsolsky and Bosley own a house right next to hers.
For the group, it’s not about local verses national brands. “It’s about safety,” said Schneider. “Traffic and the school are two big issues.”
“There’s no room for a line,” said Poldolsky. “And when you have buses there twice a day? It’s a huge safety concern.”
Bosley said they hope to unmask the yet-unknown applicant, so that letter-writers know who to address, and will offer templates and discussions on the key issues surrounding the project.
In addition to writing letters, the group has not ruled out additional actions, including “direct action.”
“For instance,” he said. “We could picket the Oneonta Dunkin Donuts. I’m a former labor organizer. I’m not without my credentials.”
And on Monday, Nov. 25, the Village Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed moratorium, which would prevent any commercial development on the Walnut Street lot for six months.
“We want to be clear,” said Bosley. “We support Dunkin Donuts. When we travel, if there’s one in the airport or on the road, we stop and get coffee. But we just don’t want one on that corner.”