Stopping Cottage School Work Was Done With Public Safety in Mind

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Regarding your Sept. 12 article “Fulgenzi: ‘We’ll Be Fighting’ JCCA Over Migrants; Threatens Lawsuit, the Town of Mount Pleasant’s stop work order issued to the Pleasantville Cottage School was standard procedure for the town’s Building Department. Whether it be the Pleasantville Cottage School, another commercial property in the town or a residential property, when permits (as is the case of the Pleasantville Cottage School) are required (plumbing, electrical, building), the property owner must obtain them.

There can be no argument that the significant remodeling of some residential cottages at the school requires permits and inspections. The stop work order is justified and issued in the ordinary course.

The Building Department’s order was not politically motivated. The town Building Department acted as soon as it received information of illegal construction without a permit. This is a public safety issue that cannot be ignored.

The town understands that this illegal work is being performed to create space for migrant children and possibly migrant families the Cottage School is preparing to receive under a contractual agreement with the federal government. The Cottage School has advertised this.

To place migrants in a facility, which by its own admission is unqualified to manage many of the troubled children presently assigned there by the state and which the town police chief has opined is unsafe, is unconscionable and dangerous to these innocent young people, the staff, residents and first responders.

In the first six months of this year, our town police received over 400 calls from the Cottage School for disturbances that included violence against people and property. Yet the placements continue, and so does the violence. Adding migrant families to this volatile mix would increase the chaos.

The federal government and the Cottage School are doing a disservice to the migrant children – placing them in a dysfunctional environment.

I took an oath to serve and protect Mount Pleasant. The town will not sit by and watch more people placed in danger at the school – whether they are psychologically disturbed children, the school’s staff, migrants, our town’s residents or first responders.

Carl Fulgenzi
Mount Pleasant Supervisor

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