Opponents of the Kennedy Park Belvedere have doubled down on this pointlessly divisive controversy by bringing a lawsuit against Lenox officials. We don’t believe that Lenox violated the Scenic Mountain Act in approving con struction of the memorial to Dr. Jor dan Fieldman, but regardless of how anyone interprets the handling of this issue by town officials it never should have come to this.
We’re perplexed by the claim of the 20 Lenox residents who are the plaintiffs listed on documents provided by Suffolk County Superior Court that they have been threatened and harassed by town officials when it is the citizens’ group that has been the aggressor. Along those lines, the lawsuit threatens "draconian punishment" of town officials, which under the Scenic Mountain Act would include fines and imprisonment, should the citizens’ group prevail in court. It is unconscionable to threaten town officials over a dispute that is hardly life and death, and while belvedere foes argued that those threats were taken out of context previously they are now part of a court document.
In arguing for the belvedere’s removal, the lawsuit claims that it attracts "anti-Semitic graffiti and similar defacement." If someone defaces the Lincoln Memorial should it be removed? The problem is not with the belvedere but with those who deface it. Claims that the overlook has become a "haven for vice and crime" since the belvedere was built are debunked by the Lenox police chief.
The belvedere has now been in place for a year, and its opponents grow increasingly strident and petty. The vast majority of Lenox residents who either like the belvedere or couldn’t care less about this endless dispute should be appalled by this treatment of the town and its officials.