Opinion: Is Canton-Potsdam Hospital a Good Neighbor? Potsdam man says No
To the Editor:
My wife and I have lived on Waverly Street for five years. We live next to one of the houses to be demolished in the Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s expansion plans. Directly behind our home is one of the hospital parking lots. So, we have been neighbors to the hospital for a long time. I have heard the term “good neighbor” used in the context of the hospital promoting its interests – usually it seems like they want you to believe that they are good neighbors. But are they? I think we are a good test case. I feel I can safely say that they are bad neighbors.Here is our experience so far: through all of this, despite being impacted directly and potentially dramatically by these expansion plans, we have heard nothing from the hospital about how their plans to expand next to our home will affect our livelihood, nor we have received any indication that they care. When the parking lot behind our home first went up, it took time and cajoling to have them build a fence dividing our property from theirs. When they finally built the fence, they killed part of a very large maple tree behind our garage, posing a significant risk to our home and those parking in their lot. Again, we have heard nothing from them about this. We don’t even know if they care, though I doubt it.
I don’t know what exactly defines a good neighbor, but I can say this: no neighbor I have ever had, whether bad or neutral, has ever cost me and my loved ones potentially thousands of dollars in tree removal and home depreciation. Further, no neighbor I have ever had as been as indifferent to those around them as the hospital has been to us. The bar for being a good neighbor is at least higher than this.
Like Doyle Dean, I don’t trust the Canton-Potsdam Hospital to be good stewards of their land. They have not taken good care of the land they do own and they are indifferent to damaging ours. They have shown no interest in our well-being or livelihood or how they will impact it for the worse. So, I think it is safe to say, they are bad neighbors.