New London's 'scarlet letter'

I'm writing in response to Jeff Benedict's op-ed, “Pink House author says it’s time for a new ending to eminent domain story,” (May 27). Benedict describes Fort Trumbull as "New London's scarlet letter." I agree totally with that characterization. What I don't agree with is the reason. He continues to portray Susette Kelo as a victim. I see her as a carpetbagger and opportunist. I think she saw the writing on the wall prior to purchasing her "little pink house." Many of the landowners of the Fort Trumbull area reached amicable settlements with the New London Development Corporation. Kelo's and the other holdouts' unwillingness to reasonably negotiate with the NLDC created the protracted fight. That fight caused the vilification of the NLDC and anyone who may have considered investing in Fort Trumbull (including the National Coast Guard Museum committee). Benedict, Kelo, The Day newspaper and like-minded people are the ones that painted the "scarlet letter" on the Fort Trumbull development. Let us remember that Ms. Kelo was finally very well compensated financially, her house was deconstructed and rebuilt, and a movie ennobled her. So Benedict’s talk of compensating her even more, to erase the scarlet letter, is a farce. 

James Vallario

New London

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