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                                            ART MATRIX - LIGHTLINK
                                            25 Fairview Square
                                            Ithaca, NY 14850
                                            (607) 277-0959 Voice
                                            (607) 277-8913 Fax

                                            04/30/19 1:49pm
11/05/19 Tuesday 6:25pm EST


     We are seeking relief from alleged city code violations related to
use of 25 Fairview Square as a home office, asking us to cease
operations in 30 days.

     The city is witholding Fairview's overall certificate of compliance
until the issues with Lightlink are resolved.

     ((We complied with near term goals of removing all servers, to
South Hill Business campus, leaving only workstations and private
machines at 25 Fairview, and closed out 24 Fairview entirely.  They
remain concerned about the 25 percent space rule in the city code and
the 10 percent rule in the New York State code.))

     Art Matrix - Lightlink Inc.  is a small S Corp company started in
1985, whose major shareholders are Jane E.  Staller, 57 and Homer W.
Smith 68, of 25 Fairview Square.

     Lightlink provides internet access via dialup and broadband
wireless to local and regional customers, and also internet services
such as mail, web, system and IP support integration and administration
to local and world wide customers including Lightlink itself, via remote

     A recent City Code inspection of 25 Fairview SQ sited Apartment 25
as follows:

     "325-9 C (4) (h)
     Amended 11-4-1992 by Ord No. 92-16, 7-2-1997 by Ord No. 97-9

     (f) The occupation [must occupy] no more than 25% of the dwelling
unit and no more than a total of 500 indoor square feet, including
accessory structures."

     "VIOLATION SITE: The use of the apartment as a commercial business
is not permitted and is in violation of of the local Zoning Ordinances.
All elements of the use must be removed and you must discontinue the use
within thirty days.  (IC 325-9C(I)(j)) (IC 325-32C)"

     Whereas Homer and Jane have lived at Fairview Square and made their
living and worked for Art Matrix - Lightlink since 1985, or 34 years,

     Whereas Lightlink has more than 300 broad band customers in
Tompkins county who have not found satisfactory internet elsewhere, and
600 other customers world wide,

     Whereas Homer Smith is home bound with extreme Toxic Environment

     Whereas Lightlink provides an important service to its community
including to rural school children who need the internet at home to do
their daily class work,

     Whereas we find it burdensome if not barbaric to be demanded to
cease operations and a way of life, which would put both Homer and Jane
out on the street, let alone in 30 days, simply because of a code
written years ago that does not match the nature and needs of the
present century economy,

     Whereas the code clearly discriminates against those with small
apartments who are most in need of a home business to supplement their
income (see below),

     Therefore we seek relief from prosecution on these matters.
     We seek legal representation or advocacy to help defend against or
CHANGE THE CODE PERMANENTLY, by someone who is able to work within our
financial means, and who is not in partnership with the city against us,
and who does not have a conflict of interest as a landlord selling
office space down town in competition with home office space users.
     Yours in good faith,

     Homer and Jane


     Lightlink in 1995 was originally intended to offer customers the
option of working at home through telecommuting to their place of work
via the newly created internet.
     Although demand was strong from both home and business users, our
main concentration was with home users out in the boonies who had no
other means of connecting to the internet.

     For example in general we do not accept existing Time Warner

     Having a connection to the internet is no longer a luxury, as it
allows people not only to work at home, but allows their kids to do
their school work which more and more often now is online, and of course
to have quality educational and entertainment video streaming 24 hours a
day, along with the rest of the wired world.

     The calls we hate the most are: "Hey Homer our internet is
down/slow, my kid is going to fail their test tomorrow and flunk out of


     Lightlink is an S Corporation, started in 1995 and incorporated in

     Both Jane Staller and myself Homer Smith are employees of lightlink
along with a few others.

     We are also the two major share holders, and board of directors.

     We both earn a salary of $17900 per year before taxes, and I also
have $12,000/year in social security.  All such private money goes back
into Lightlink as capital reinvestment after personal expenses are paid,
and thus Lightlink presently runs at a yearly tax loss of about
-$2000.00 dollars while our capital basis increases slightly from the


     Lightlink was the first company to bring high speed internet to
Fairview and its apartment complex in the late 1990's, and the basement
space was originally used to bring the dialup lines and T3 'mega-pipe'
into the complex for redistribution.  It later became a convenient
storage space for the myriad equipment and things necessary to provide
internet access and services.

     To this day Lightlink continues to provide free wireless access
througout Fairview's town houses.

     Lightlink was also the first public company to bring high speed
internet to Cayuga Medical Center via a wireless link from their roof to

     We were also among the first to bring high speed to other high end
institutions like AFCU, TCAT, Hangar Theater and Treman Marina.

     Presently most of our wireless broadband customers are in the far
south areas of Newfield, Danby, Alpine and Watkins Glen and north up
Cayuga Lake, all of which are places that Time Warner, Haefle and others
do not go.

     When competition for high speed came to Ithaca through Time Warner
and Road Runner, the only way we could distribute serious high speed
internet to the town was through wireless, and thus the need for roof
rights became mandatory for antennas at many locations for wireless
transmissions to the end customer.

     The FCC even made rules protecting wireless ISP's from being
discriminated against because of their need for roof access to bring the
signal in.

     As part of Lightlink's standard business model, Lightlink leases
space on numerous silos, towers, roof tops and basements from Ithaca all
the way to Danby and Watkins Glen including Fairview's own roof.
     With the coming of the internet in 1995, the work at home industry
exploded and is presently growing geometrically.

     Although it used to be envelope stuffing schemes, a quick look
through Flexjobs.com finds extensive work at home opportunities for
normal people and highly knowledgeable tech people.

     For example, Comcast and other large providers use many work at
home people to do their phone tech support.

     Since Lightlink was designed to allow people to work at home over
the internet through telecommuting, it was itself built around work at
home principles.

     "Lightlink is a work at home business, for those who want to work
at home."

     Thus all of lightlink employees work at home, except when someone
needs a house call or a physical truck roll to do an install.

     Working at home has many obvious benefits to the employee.

     1.) Work at home saves on rent for VERY EXPENSIVE downtown office
space.  Some landlords who own downtown office space hate work at home
people becase it cuts into their revenues.
     2.) Work at home saves on wear and tear on cars and insurance
     3.) Work at home helps to avoid the dangers of driving every day
downtown and in heavy traffic.
     4.) Work at home saves stress in body, heart, mind and soul
commuting every day, time better spent doing something else.  Not to
mention winter driving.

     5.) Work at home saves on environmental resources such as gas, air
pollution and parking spaces, working at home is very GREEN.
     6.) Work at home saves on stress from having to work in an
un-home-like environment away from your family.

     7.) Most importantly, working at home allows people to earn a
living while taking care of their own children or elderly parents, or
special needs family members.  It also allows for easier home schooling
of children.  Some people in the standard city school system also hate
home schooling of children for obvious reasons.  I don't know, maybe
home schooling interferes with some people's "Just another brick in the
wall" plans for our children.
     8.) Working at home is of special benefit to single mothers who
need to make a living while taking care of their child.

     9.) Working at home allows people to work on their own schedule
24x7.  Many people work better at night, free from the 9 to 5 regimen.

     For the employer:

     1.) Allowing employees to work at home saves on need for insurance,
office space, equipment and electricity among countless other benefits
not listed here.


     The existing code discriminates against those with small apartments
or living spaces.

     The less space you have in your apartment, the less space a person
has to use it for his home office or business.

     A typical work at home office would involve at minimum:

     1.) Desk
     2.) Lighting
     3.) Phone systems
     4.) Printers including fax, and color printers.
     5.) Postage meters and scales
     6.) Filing cabinets for record keeping
     7.) Storage of documents for tax purposes
     8.) Book shelves for training and equipment manuals.
     9.) Computers for remote access to employer systems,
and for accounts and billing records if customers are your own.

     If one had a 20x20 sized apartment or 400 square feet, 25 percent
of that would be 100 square feet or a 10x10 area.

     That is hardly enough to have a chair, a desk and a light.
     The 25 percent rule does NOT apply if one's space is NOT used to
make money, but if any money is charged for services rendered out of the
home, then the home becomes a commercial home occupation, and the 25
percent rule applies.

     One e-mail that makes you money and your computer is business

     We are employees of many different companies, lightlink is one, but
also Oakhill, Riverview, Cornell, Kendall, etc.  If I get a call to come
fix their infected machine, and I drive out there, fix it, come back,
and send them a bill for my work, am I running a business out of my


     One needs to carefully discriminate between having a home office
and runnning a business out of your home.

     Having people come to your home to get haircuts is running
a business out of your home.

     Setting up appointments with people over e-mail or the phone
to go to their residence to do the haircut is not, its a home ofice.
     And one also needs to notice that just because the CEO of a company
has a home office and does work from home doesn't mean his home is now
the company headquarters.

     If I collect baubles and keep them for trade on ebay, am I running
a business out of my home?

     If I sign on to a remote server and reboot it, or upgrade it, or do
other work or development on it, and bill my employer for my time or get
paid as a salaried employee, am I running a business out of my home?

     If I answer the phone for remote customers and answer their tech
support problems over the phone from home, am I running a business out
of my home?

     If I write articles or commentary and sell them to national
magazines am I running a business out of my home?
     If I write a song, record it on my home music studio, and sell it
to the song industry, am I running a business out of my home?

     If I tutor children at their own homes, in math, science, music or
history and get paid for it, am I running a business out of my home just
because I bill the parents using quickbooks on my pesonal laptop at my
personal desk.


     In general the people most likely to have small apartments would be
the ones most likely to need and benefit from money making enterprises
out of their home.

     Such people with small apartments would likely to be:

        The poor
        The young
        The old
        Those living on fixed income
        The jobless or unemployed
        Those still in school
        The newly immigrated
        The handicapped (such as myself)
        The veteran and military retunees
        The mentally or emotionally challenged
        The home bound (such as myself)
        Single mothers with children
        Work at home mothers who wish to keep their children
with them after birth to bond with the mother, rather than sending them off to daycare
to bond with someone else's TV.


     Angie worked for Lightlink from 2001 until 2011.

     Angie was one of our first full time employees.  Initially she was
working at Fairview in their main office.  She started a family, and
when the baby was due she was granted a short leave to have the baby and
'bond' with it.

     Under great distress she was planning out of necessity to put the
baby in day care because her husband had a full time job and there was
no one to take care of the child.

     Some day care people by the way also hate work at home mothers :)

     (Much as some profesional strippers hate topless beaches.)

     We invited angie to come work for Lightlink as our front line
secretary doing accounting and tech support, and she stayed with us for
10 years, working full time salary from her home over a VPN connection
to Lightlink, taking care not only of that first child, but a second and
third one as well.

     We are very proud of this accomplishment, as keeping the mother
with the child at home full time while she worked was part of the
original dream and design of Lightlink and exactly paralleled our stated
vision and mission statements.

     "A better world through communication." - Vision
     "Work at home, yeah!"                   - Mission


     How many people can claim they created a business and provided a
mother with full time work at home for three children until they were
old enough to enter kindergarten with not a day separated from either
child due to need to work?


     The purpose of codes is to protect the quality of life of the
communities that it represents.  Home offices or places of intellectual
creativity should not be hampered by concerns from an older age.
     The code was originally designed with concerns about industrial age
activities and manufacture and was written before the advent of the
internet, bringing in the knowledge age, with its knowledge workers and
creative artists.

     For example a writer or musician with a home studio could easily
exceed the 25 percent or max 500 square foot rule without much trouble.

     The fact one is making MONEY from home, should have no bearing on
rules of space usage.

     Whether a person has 20 computers in his home because he likes
computers, or because he is earning money from them, or his knowledge
about them, should have zero bearing on how much of his allowed space
his computers take up.

     Lightlink strongly believes that the code should be changed to
accomodate today's realities and especially the needs for families with
both parents working, single parents, or those who are home bound or can
not afford second rents for downtown business office space.

     Yours in good faith,

     Homer W. Smith
     Jane E. Staller