Residents hold meeting to oppose Toomey Residential boys' group home on Doyle Road

On Wednesday, Aug. 6, concerned Lysander residents held an informational meeting at the Baldwinsville Public Library to oppose construction of a mental health facility in their area.

Toomey Residential and Community Services Corporation, a not-for-profit agency and an affiliate of Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, purchased land at 3493 Doyle Road from Nancy Abbott. The plan is to build an eight-bed community residence for boys ages 7 to 13, who have been diagnosed with mental health and/or behavioral issues.

About 40 people gathered in the library’s community room to watch Doyle Road resident William Penn present a slideshow, titled “A Chronological Presentation of the Toomey-Lysander Doyle Road Mental Health Facility Plan.”

Penn began with a visual timeline spanning the years 2011 through 2014, to highlight what he felt were the events leading up to the approval of the facility.

“We think the government was aware for a long time that this Toomey interest was active,” Penn said.

Penn’s presentation centered on the March 2013 letter sent to Lysander officials in which Toomey notified the town of the project. From that date, New York Mental Hygiene Law 41.34 gave the town 40 days to support, oppose or offer an alternate site for the project. The allotted time passed with no response by the town.

“This is the heart of the matter,” Penn said.

On April 23, 2014 the Lysander Town Board held a public informational meeting, where Toomey representatives reportedly had difficulty getting through their presentation due to heated interjections by residents.

Five days later, the board opened discussion during its regular meeting. With a proposal by Councilor Robert Geraci, the board tabled a motion to write a letter to the New York State representatives regarding community input into the building of group homes.

“Face-to-face research that we have done reveals that a heavy majority of residents living on or near Doyle Road were completely unaware of the Toomey proposal …” Penn said. “We believe … a law needs to be revised to give residents more say in what is allowed there by zoning.”

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turgid 1 year, 6 months ago

Another hack article. Why not just let Mr. Penn write it? Obviously, she (staff writer) can't count. There were about 25 people there. I just counted the people in the news video. Why no mention of all the questions by the person who shot down every false statment and innuendo by Mr. Penn? He brought factual information that contradicted everything Mr. Penn was claiming. Mr. Penn never refuted any of the information presented and and in fact, agreed with the concerned citizen. What you don't know is during a brief break, Mr. Penn approached that individual and said, "You're really starting to piss me off". Yep another great balanced article by the Messenger. Keep up the good work.


VillagePeople 1 year, 6 months ago

The slippery slope in Lysander was opened a long time ago. Many people in this town supported illegal activities when another charity wanted to do business in this town. People in this town dont care about what is legal or right because if they want it then they really dont care how they achieve it.


turgid 1 year, 6 months ago

The slippery slope always leads back to one organization and its members. The Lieslander Republican Committee. The group home is completely legal and the town had no real options or say in the matter. The Y which VillagePeople is trying to make a comparison was illegal because illegal changes to the land restrictions were made by the seller/buyers with the knowledge that the LRC controlled zoning and town boards at the time. It wasn't until later the LRC switch sides. The Doyle Rd people are welcome to open there wallets, get a lawyer, file an Article 78 with State Health and get told they have no legal standing and have it summarily dismissed. According to Mr. Penn and others at the recent meeting, Mr. Barclay and other elected officials will not even take their calls anymore. Good Luck with your flimsy petition with 100 signatures and your email campaign.


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