I am responding to Sil Ranucci’s letter in your Oct. 11 edition, (“Treated unfairly and maligned, is why developer is fighting back,”) which comments on my letter about his earlier letter concerning the antics of Benny Marotta re: the Rand Estate.
As a reminder, Mr. Ranucci is a paid consultant to the Marotta companies, something he fairly disclosed in his initial letter.
Mr. Ranucci purports in his most recent letter to give us some facts he accuses me of ignoring. He goes on to try to personalize the legal disputes over the last four years between the Marotta companies and the town as the work of Betty Disero.
Here’s the important information that inconveniently contradicts Mr. Ranucci’s spin: it was the previous Pat Darte-led council that voted in the summer of 2018 to designate the Rand Estate under the Heritage Act.
That decision was based in large part on the recommendations of the town’s municipal heritage committee, which held extensive hearings on the matter.
The Marotta companies then promptly appealed that decision to the Conservation Review Board during the Darte council term.
When the board made an initial ruling against the Marotta companies, he changed lawyers and launched a new application in Superior Court to challenge the legality of the Darte council’s designation decision.
The Disero council inherited this situation and the various litigation initiatives of the Marotta companies.
If Mr. Ranucci wants to complain about our elected council listening to and acting on the recommendations of the municipal heritage committee he should instead be complaining about the Darte council decision in 2018.
But that would run counter to the “Marotta as victim at the hands of Disero” narrative that he, and his employer Mr. Marotta, have been trying to spin for the last four years.
The Darte council did what it should have and discharged its obligations under the Heritage Act by designating the Rand Estate.
Mr. Marotta knew full well what he was buying. Instead of acquiescing to the Darte council decision, his companies have spent the last four years challenging that decision in every conceivable way.
I hope Mr. Ranucci spends some time looking at the Benny Marotta media archive section of the SORE website. The facts recounted therein speak for themselves.
The Darte council, and the Disero council after it, are to be congratulated for not being yet another small municipality that allowed itself to be bullied by and bent to the will of Mr. Marotta in his pursuit of profits.