Michael David Tiskus: Town Farm propaganda campaign

The Town Lodging House at 75 Oliver Street in Easthampton.

The Town Lodging House at 75 Oliver Street in Easthampton. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 03-15-2024 2:37 PM

Modified: 03-15-2024 8:07 PM

Recently a bag was left on my front door containing claims arguing against the Town Farm project on Oliver Street but having no name of the author. Setting aside the openly offensive forecasts about potential occupants, I was stunned by the inept reading of the deeds as presented, as well as the cowardly delivery of the argument.

The mysterious propagandist somehow fails to realize that most of the sections of the deeds presented directly contradicts their own arguments.

First, Deed 432, pg. 459, 1890 clearly states that the town may not sell the property, which the writer also clearly states but then fails to recognize the city isn’t selling the property? Second, Deed 5484, pg. 113, 1998 agrees to have The Massachusetts Historic Commission (MHC) register the property and to have any possible alterations of it reviewed by them. If the writer can understand the deed then they should be able to understand the current project actually does conform to the deed.

Third, Deed 5872; pg. 203, 2000 restricts the property to affordable housing, which the project upholds, and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) must approve the project. The sole viable claim presented by the writer is that the units be single-room occupancies as outlined in the deed, which does appear to be in conflict the the project.

There are a lot of eyes on this project including the MHC, DHCD, and property lawyers reviewing the deeds. If there is a violation of the deeds, rest assured it will come out and be addressed without the need of an amateur property deed lawyer.

As a 25-plus year resident on West Street, I recognize that traffic on my road will increase. This is a normal effect of a city that ages, matures, and grows. It’s not 1890, 1998, or 2000. It’s 2024. Deal with it.

Michael David Tiskus


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