In an announcement that stunned local officials, after a four-year battle, Neuman Development announced Tuesday that they are canceling their Geneseo Town Centre proposal that was to include a Big Box Lowe’s. The news came in a letter dated April 1st to Geneseo Town Planning Board Chairman Dwight D. Faults.
In the letter, Neuman said they made this “difficult decision” after an independent review of the proceedings indicated that the project was so legally compromised by improper procedures that the best plan would be to simply start over. Neuman Development President Alfred E. Neuman also announced that they have fired their in-house counsel and point person for the project Ken Kamelot.
“This should have been a slam dunk,” Neuman said in an exclusive Blarion interview. “We can’t believe this guy could lose to a bunch of pointed-headed college professors and a blogger. Ken could screw up a boxed lunch!”
Faults said he was devastated by the news and immediately announced his retirement from the Planning Board. “Without the Neuman deal to push through there’s really no point in me continuing to serve,” Faults said.
Town Supervisor Will Willingsworth announced he would re-appoint former Chairman John Zmysche to take over leadership of the Planning Board.”There was really no good reason to fire John in the first` place,” Willingsworth said, “but Mike Toenailio made me do it.”
The news was greeted with glee by members of PDDG (Please Do Depress Geneseo) who saw it as a major victory in their battle to take Geneseo back to the 19th century. “This is only the beginning of our struggle,” said PDDG Honcho Borin’ Strong, who announced the group’s plans to back legislation both in the town and village to have all commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet immediately torn down. “We won’t rest until all the Big Boxes are driven from the gates,” he vowed.
Other PDDG leaders were not yet convinced that the deal is really dead. PDDG’s Bill Lunkhead said he planned to FOIL all correspondence between all members of the town government and all developers for the past 50 years to try to get to the bottom of the matter. “I know their hiding something,” Prof. Lunkhead said.
That effort was immediately short-circuited, however, when Town Clerk Saint Jean the Benevolent quickly announced that all the requested records had apparently been misplaced during last year’s move to the new town hall. Lunkhead received some consolation, however, when Town Historian David Pariah reported that he had discovered what appeared to be the missing records from town attorneys Underwater and Quisling hidden in the former town hall basement.
Former Town Supervisor Less Kennison blamed himself for the outcome. “If only I had been a little more forceful in pushing this proposal through we might have made it,” he said from Albany where he is working on his next campaign to be Lt. Governor. “I guess this proves that nice guys really do finish last!”
The disappointment was shared at the county level where County Administrator Nick Mazzaroski announced an immediate rollback of all county employee salary increases for the past three years. “We had been counting on the sales tax boost from that project to save our bacon,” Mazzaroski said. “It seems only fair, now that the project has failed, that the staff and not the taxpayers should take the brunt of the damage.”
Representatives of the Shrew family, owners of the involved land, were philosophical about the setback. “We’ve got Geneseo by the balls so we’re really not worried,” said Shrew outlaw Greg Sheep. “Sooner or later somebody else will be back with another Big Box proposal.” Sheep did say, however, that he will miss reading the Blarion Blogs on a daily basis. “That Borin’ is one funny guy,” he concluded.