Regarding the March 7 letter by Pleasantville City Councilwoman Judy Ward, "Try Central Square for methadone program":

First, I would like to clarify that although I support the move of the John Brooks Recovery Center's methadone program from the Atlantic City Tourism District to Pleasantville, county government was not involved in the selection process.

The proposed location will be to the far side of the Pleasantville Shopping Center across from a concrete plant and a cemetery. The center's workers may even help stimulate local businesses, as may some of their clientele.

Since the Pleasantville facility is larger with a more accommodating waiting area, the need for clients to linger outside for service as they now do in Atlantic City will be eliminated. Also, keep in mind that methadone patients who are from Atlantic City will continue to be served at an alternate site in Atlantic City - not in Pleasantville.

Furthermore, once Atlantic City is excluded, the largest number of John Brook's patients are from Pleasantville and Egg Harbor Township, in equal number, even though Egg Harbor Township has twice the population of Pleasantville.

I can appreciate the councilwoman's concerns, but they are overwrought. It might be easier for me to take no position on this issue, but the need to relocate this facility out of the Tourism District to a more appropriate location is too important to the economy of our area for me not to get involved.

DENNIS LEVINSON

County Executive

Atlantic City