Please Don’t Destroy Geneseo (PDDG) has invited the new pro-Lowes group, Keep Geneseo Vibrant and Growing (KGVG), to talk things over. In a full page Genesee Valley Pennysaver ad to be published this weekend, PDDG welcomes spokesperson Ted Universal to the debate.
The ad signed by 25 members of PDDG is in response to a page and a half page ad that ran in last week’s Pennysaver promoting the Lowe’s project. In it, PDDG invites Universal to reveal the names of other members of his group so that discussion either in private or at a public forum on the issue can take place.
Universal has so far declined to name any of the other members of his group when questioned both by e-mail and in person at the Planning Board meeting Monday. He also declined the personal invitation from PDDG member Jim Allen to get together for lunch and talk things over.
In an e-mail response, Mr. Universal wrote, “Thank you for your comments on my article. All of what I wanted to say is contained there in. Although your invitation to meet is appreciated, I must respectfully decline.”
Jim Allen wrote back that:
“I was disappointed and confused by your response. In your commentary in the paper you invited people to contact you to discuss these issues further, even including your home e-mail address. What has changed to make you no longer interested in a discussion? You also mentioned that you represent a group of other people, and that you don’t have ties to Newman Development or Lowe’s. Now that you’ve publicly entered the discussion, it seems reasonable folks would want to know more about your group and its views. Certainly PDDG has been open about its membership, its alliances, and the development of its views. Can we ask the same of your group? I want to emphasize that I have no interest in being confrontational, or in making our disagreement on this issue personal. I hope that we can find a way to talk.”
In light of the revelations that Newman has hired Rochester public relations firm Public Strategy Group (PSG) to create support for its proposal and that PSG specializes in creating local support groups to act as a front for corporate PR campaigns, there are growing questions about KGVG. Bill Lofquist explores this and related issues in his weekly column.