A Disaster Foretold - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1821117

A Disaster Foretold

Once again, Jay Schneiderman is double-ramming Tuckahoe taxpayers, as well as everyone else maddened by taxes, over-development and traffic gridlock on the East End.

As fatal accidents pile up and all residential streets turn into service roads from County Road 39 to any other alternative, he is greasing the way for two extremely controversial developments guaranteed to increase traffic on this overburdened road, with the potential for financial obligations on taxpayers: the Concern for Independent Living affordable housing, and the STAR Aquatic Sports Complex.

While mulling and musing, furrowing his eyebrows, and pulling on his chin, perplexed as to how to address the “traffic problem” in public, he simultaneously is exploiting the offputting Zoom — taking full advantage of it to decrease public participation — to push through development that adds immeasurably to existing problems.

Instead of the decency of a moratorium while he insists on closing down all public meeting spaces, he is Zoom-shoving controversial projects to premature approval. Either of these inappropriate projects, if permitted to go through, guarantee increased traffic on County Road 39, and especially the surrounding residential streets, negatively impact the environment, add to the rampant suburban ugliness, and pack potential financial liabilities for taxpayers. Both, cheek by jowl, are a disaster foretold that will not be mitigated by blinking traffic lights.

Confident of complicity, Schneiderman rams on. He oversees shoddy or no oversight coupled with purposeful evasion of extremely important issues concerning these side-by-side developments (and who knows what else?). Bowing to his double-talk his pet developments are rubber-stamped by compliant lackeys on moribund boards. The attitude in Town Hall is toxic, as bored, overpaid employees, when they deign to answer their phones, impatiently pass questions raised by the public on to someone, anyone, else — usually, another voicemail message.

The financial and environmental consequences built into the egregious downzoning and the folkloric talk of “concerns” housing for “local folk” (try getting a straight answer on that from the new head of the housing authority, Kara Bak, hired at $118,500 plus $30K in benefits) spell future problems .

As for the pool to teach kiddies to swim: That has morphed into a two-story, all-purpose sports complex with “event, conference and party space” on asphalt terrain with 160 parking spaces surrounding a hideously ugly building. Remember, the $4 million-plus land donated to this nightmare was purchased by Schneiderman with CPF money to afford “open space possibilities.” As to overseeing the donations only ever alluded to by STAR hucksters, the town hasn’t bothered to check.

It’s not just the traffic that’s a problem — it’s what Schneiderman traffics in. Schneiderman is the disease posing as the cure.

Two more years. What will be left but the problems he created?

Frances Genovese