Daily Archives: August 25, 2007

Looking for Mr. Lamb

As you may have seen in recent issues of the Livingston County News, Greg Lamb, http://www.clarioncall.com’s most active reader in Florida (my Dad doesn’t use computers) and PDDG’s most dogged critic, has re-entered our local fray with another effort to discredit PDDG and advocate on behalf of Big Boxes.

In so doing, Mr. Lamb provided us the opportunity to reveal what we had recently learned: that he is not the disinterested observer he portrays himself to be. Through intrepid electronic detective work (and conversations in the coffeeshop), PDDG’s crackerjack security team (Corrin and I) were able to identify Mr. Lamb’s wife as part owner of the Frew property.

This unacknowledged financial stake means the Lambs  stand to gain as much as $1 million as their share of the reported $200,000 an acre that will be paid if Newman gains approval to build its Big Box on 25 acres of the family land.

Regular readers of this column may recall the mystery of the identity of Mr. Lamb. Last spring, he inserted himself into our local drama by publishing a letter to the editor in the SUNY-Geneseo college newspaper, The Lamron, in which he attacked my motives for opposing more Big Boxes in Geneseo and sought to discredit PDDG.

He also attacked Corrin, claiming that The Clarion had refused to publish earlier letters to the editor and forcing him to rely on The Lamron to air his concerns. Confronted to present evidence to support this bogus claim, Mr. Lamb instead issued a half-hearted retraction and apology.

After reading Mr. Lamb’s original letter to the editor, I assumed he was a student and I sought the opportunity to discuss our differing perspectives. However, I couldn’t find a Greg Lamb among Geneseo students, Geneseo residents, or anywhere else in the surrounding area. This was odd, I thought.

Why was someone who didn’t live in the area so interested in our Big Box battle? Why would someone who claimed to have local knowledge send his letter to the newspaper of my employer rather than the much more widely read Livingston County News? And why would he make demonstrably false and libelous claims about the editorial practices of The Clarion?

In the context of a recent mysterious phone call to PDDG colleague Kurt Cylke warning of an imminent lawsuit against him by Newman Development Group, I wondered how Mr. Lamb might be involved in our increasingly contentious battle. Using an email address provided by The Lamron, I contacted him and asked him to identify himself and his interest. He refused.

Unable to identify Mr. Lamb through simple electronic searches, I put the matter aside. However, Mr. Lamb kept getting in touch. Once The Clarion became http://www.clarioncall.com, Mr. Lamb posted regular comments in response to our columns.

Corrin and I resolved to look a little harder. Using an electronic fingerprint left by his computer, we identified a Greg Lamb in south Florida.  Internet searches revealed that he was married to Mary Bondell Lamb. Long-time residents will recognize the name Bondell. It only rang a bell for me, though that was enough.

A quick search found the Geneseo link: the property on which Newman had proposed its Big Box was owned by descendants of the Frew family, including the Munsons and the Bondells. Mary’s mother was Wildroff Frew Bondell, who lived on Elm St. and who passed away in the years since Newman came to town.

Corrin then deployed to the Bank Street coffeeshop, Geneseo’s own local Google. In no time at all, he had uncovered the entire Frew family tree.

So there you have it. Greg Lamb is married to an heir to the Frew property. Good for him, of course. He has every right to sell his property and see it developed. He also has every right to be heard in our local affairs. However, it is fundamental that people disclose their stakes, particularly their financial stakes, in any position they advocate.

We will continue to welcome Mr. Lamb as a reader and commenter on this site. We just thought it was fair that readers know the rest of the story.