To the Editor:
On Monday evening, the Village of Valley Stream held a public hearing to determine whether the village would endorse and approve FEMA’s revised flood zone maps. Prior statements of village officials already made approval a foregone conclusion; however, several members of the community correctly and accurately made the case for why such approval is misguided and unfair, particularly with regard to the 800-plus homeowners who have been unjustly left in the AE high-risk flood zone.
The fact is that justice did not enter into the decision for leaving the 800 homeowners behind with all of the financial suffering resulting from that decision. As Trustee Vincent Grasso put it, it was “the best deal the village could get.” The village did not opt for equal protection for all of its families, but instead decided to play Let’s Make a Deal.
I was particularly surprised that Trustees Virginia Clavin-Higgins and Dermond Thomas would vote in favor of such an arrangement, as they are both part of classes of citizens that have been constitutionally protected by the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. One would think that they would believe that creating a new class of individuals deprived of equal protection would be repugnant. If it were repugnant, they had the opportunity to express that feeling by voting against approval of those maps. They chose not to so vote and have created a new class of discriminated individuals, the 800-plus flood-free homeowners of Valley Stream that have been wrongfully placed in the high-risk flood zone.
I wonder, Ms. Clavin-Higgins and Mr. Thomas, whether Susan B. Anthony and W.E.B. Dubois would have endorsed your votes.
Joseph B. Margolin