Stockton Eyesore May Be Removed

STOCKTON – Stockton residents may have reason to rejoice.

Mark Cunningham told Stockton Town Board members the building across from the Veterans Park at the four corners in Stockton will come down soon. Cunningham says he is a partner of Edward Buseck, who owns the property on which most of the building rests. He said he has been talking to Michael Myers, on whose property some of the building rests. He said a new survey has been done.

During the summer and fall, Buseck had been in regular attendance at town meetings proclaiming his unhappiness with the board and demanding the board issue him a permit to demolish a building that is not totally on his property line. He often spoke of the owner as “she,” and called her “Carmichael or Myers or somebody.”

Although he professed his initial willingness first to repair and then to tear down the building himself, he also demanded that the board charge “her” a portion of the cost for tearing down the building.

In reality, the current owner of the property is Mike Myers, whose mother apparently is “she.” Myers, contacted by telephone, said that he bought the property at the same tax auction in 2008 where Buseck bought the corner lot.

“I wanted to buy both pieces, but he outbid me,” Myers said. “I accepted that and tried to work with him.”

As far as the “she” goes, Myers said, “He knows he should talk to me; I am the owner.”

According to Myers, at first they talked cordially. Myers was willing to give up his portion of the building in return for a piece of land that would serve as a driveway for his mother’s property.

After a time negotiations broke down. Myers said the last time he heard from Buseck, his lawyer was faxed a drawing with lines that seemed to outline even more land that Buseck wanted in return for the driveway. He told Buseck the drawing did not make sense.

“The answer was he dropped a tree in the driveway,” said Myers.

Myers ultimately purchased land on the other side of the house to use as a driveway.

Asked why he didn’t just allow Buseck to tear down the eyesore he said, “Then I would have no ability to bargain at all.”

Cunningham has attended board meetings, a case of the “silent partner” who decided to speak out. Cunningham has spoken in favor of Buseck’s position, quoting parts of code that he believed gives the town the authority to order the building demolished.

After the tree incident, Myers decided to stop talking to Buseck. Buseck has now gone to Florida, his legal residence, for the winter.

At the last meeting, Cunningham said there were toner lines on the map when it was faxed to Myers. “It was inadvertent,” he said. He also explained that the tree would be cleared away.

After the board meeting, councilman John Beichner said, “The board worked with Mr. Cunningham to get the two parties talking.”