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Highbrook Highline Debate Continues in Pelham

PELHAM, N.Y. – Pelham resident Susan Mutti discussed the Highbrook Highline with the board of trustees at Tuesday night's meeting after she did the same on July 12 . She has become frustrated with the board on this issue.

Mutti, a member of a committee assigned by the board to research the Highbrook Highline, said in an email that trustee Joseph Marty removed an item from the agenda at the last minute. Mutti said that Marty told the committee that he would ask the board to reopen the field but did not explain why he removed the agenda item.

The Pelham resident said she felt that she and her peers did not have a chance to speak at the meeting.

"We were really dissuaded from speaking during public comment," Mutti said. "We got the message that it would be best to wait until it comes up on the agenda. It just felt like it all got shut down rather quickly."

Repeated calls to the Village of Pelham for comment from Marty were not returned Thursday.

The board did approve an extension of the March resolution that allowed the committee to explore grants for the Highline.

Mutti presented an application to the board Tuesday night for it to consider. The application would allow the committee to start the process of applying for grants by seeking eligibility for the Highline as a historic site.

The board has been concerned about that designation, but Mutti said she has tried to relax those fears.

"I keep trying to talk about it and I give them the reasons," Mutti said. "We've told them that it's non-binding. We've attempted to answer all of their concerns, but they won't have a discussion with us. They won't tell us why."

Mutti said she does not understand why the board extended the resolution to allow the committee to look for grants, but then stopped them from submitting the application that she presented, which she said is the way to grant money.

She is also trying to figure out where to go from here.

"It's incredibly frustrating," Mutti said. "The rational presentation part is not working, so I'm kind of at a loss. We were going to circle back and try to figure out our next steps."

Mutti also expressed disappointment in the board's refusal to answer her concerns.

"They haven't given us a fair hearing," Mutti said. "As our elected officials, they're supposed to give us a fair hearing and at least an explanation. They can't just say no."

Where do you stand on the Highbrook Highline issue? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter @DailyPelham. Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at ameola@thedailypelham.com .

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