Local organizations and elected officials are calling the newsletters being circulated by a group called the Ridgewood/Glendale Property Owners a “load of crap.”
Last month, Ridgewood and Glendale residents opened their mailboxes and found a white envelope with the words “Property Owner Community Newsletter R.G.P.O.” stamped on front.
In it was a letter that charged Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Glendale) with being “unable to represent” the area and imposing “slums to [sic] communities.”
The newsletter included photographs of graffiti, trash and for-sale signs in front of houses, all of which were taken in Glendale.
“Under a Miller Administration, the lower and central community of Glendale continue to rapidly deteriorate and collapse relating quality of life livability and community appearance,” the newsletter read.
Shortly after the March letter was circulated, Glendale Property Owners Association President Brian Dooley and Miller publicly blasted it, claiming the accusations were false.
But last week, another letter was sent out. The charges were similar, though in addition to Miller, the writers blame Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano for the Glendale community “falling to slums.”
Frank Kotnik, president of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol, was quick to defend the public leaders at the April G-COP meeting.
“This is slanderous behavior,” Kotnik said. “Mike and Gary are not what this letter makes them out to be.”
In response to an email sent by a Queens Chronicle reporter requesting further information on the R.G.P.O, a sealed manila envelope with a cover letter, the two newsletters and photos of Glendale was slid under the paper’s office door Monday.
“Received your email,” the letter read. “To answer your question in brief, Community Review is a news group and are public advocates in joint venture representing many property owners residing in Ridgewood and Glendale whom seek better community governing and quality of life livability as to all tax payers so deserve.”
“This is not a group,” Kotnik said. “These are two gentlemen whom I know aren’t even from the area. I don’t see them going around and cleaning up. And contrary to their newsletter, I’m not seeing people leaving Glendale in droves.”
Kotnik provided a surveillance video still that he said showed the two men placing white envelopes into residents’ mailboxes.
Miller confirmed that the group was not a group at all but Harold and Ronald Olah, two brothers from Port Washington who have a house left to them by their mother on 64th Street in Glendale.
The assemblyman also mentioned that many of the images sent out to show the “slum” conditions of Glendale are outdated.
“The pictures they have been sending out are years old,” he said. “They are not recent images. They came to me when I first entered office with a list of seven issues, including trash clean-up and other things and we addressed six of the seven.”
The remaining request involved getting rid of the rail road that passes through the Middle Village, Ridgewood and Glendale areas, disturbing many of the residents who live near the tracks.
“These trains are under federal jurisdiction,” Miller said. “I cannot just put the railroad company out of business.”
“What it comes down to is this: if you let us know about an issue or something that you see as wrong in the area, we’ll take care of it,” Miller concluded. “If you have a problem, come to my office and we’ll talk about it.”