Members of the RTM are concerned that Greenwich seems to be charging too little for its assets and they’re paying particular attention to Greenwich Plaza, which generates little to no income for our town, thanks to a 70-year-lease (with a 20-year extension).
I was 14 when this deal went down but even at that tender age I was amazed at the power local politicians had to enrich themselves and their friends at the expense of a town asleep at the wheel. If, as the Godfather said, “one man with a briefcase can steal more than one hundred men with guns”, politicians make lawyers look like the losers they are. I’m sorry now I didn’t remember that lesson as I made my career choices.
Lowell Weicker – you recall the fat fraud, don’t you? The man who brought the income tax and gambling to Connecticut? – Lowell was first Selectman back in 1967 with aspirations for higher office which his close friend, Greenwich resident and real estate developer Harry Ashforth was willing to fund, but “for a price, Ugarte, for a price”. And that price was that Weicker “rented” Ashforth the air rights next to the Greenwich train station for a handful of magic beans and a sackful of cash delivered to “Applejack Farm” and Ashforth got to build his office complex. Until those buildings went up, there was a wonderful view of Long Island Sound from anywhere on Greenwich Avenue; not after.
So the town got screwed, Ashforth got rich(er) and Lowell shook the dust off from this podunk town and headed to Washington. The rest, sadly, is history.