To the Editor:
As a resident and taxpayer of Vernon, I read and listened with concern to the latest proposals and discussions regarding Legends. The facility was constructed as a Playboy Club in the early 1970s and in its day was a major draw for the community. It has since deteriorated to the extent that, with high probability, there is no future for the facility. In my opinion, Legends should be demolished.
Although a major cost, I feel this is the only viable path forward. Yet, discussions and settlement proposals by the township government continue in hopes to facilitate redevelopment of the facility. Recently, township proposals put forth by Mayor Burrell would have given Hillie Meyers, a Florida-based timeshare executive of Metairie Corporation, relief extending payment of overdue 2020 taxes to the end of June 2021. Vernon, in turn, would then have dropped its opposition to a one-year extension of the facility’s liquor license as well as a lawsuit seeking $60,000 in building and fire safety violations, making it easier for the owner to entice an investor. If no investor appeared by June, the facility would have to be put up for auction, but the owner could turn down any final offer.
All of this sounds very political, favoring the corporate owner at the expense of Vernon citizens. Extending proposals that favor the current owner, especially delay in payment of overdue taxes and, I suspect, relief in paying upcoming 2021 taxes, although not yet addressed, are not positive positions for Vernon and its taxpayers. Metairie must pay its taxes the same as we pay our taxes.
I remind Mayor Burrell and those on the council who voted to extend relief to Metairie that they are township officials elected to work in the interest of its citizens and not to extend proposed political favors to corporate entities such as Metairie that could easily impact already strained township finances.
John B. Stevens