Alternate Scenario - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2069638

Alternate Scenario

“I never thought it could happen here” is the shocked response of people on television when violence comes to their neighborhood. But not from the people living in the Blue Ridge Condo Complex in Medford, who have been begging for more security from their homeowners association, requesting more police presence, reporting senseless criminal acts and becoming increasingly fearful. They spoke to Newsday and News12 of random nighttime criminal acts, of menacing, slashed tires, stalking and threats by a “bored group” of people living within their condo complex.

Sadly, on December 28, this culminated in Suffolk County Police being called to quell a deranged man wielding a fire extinguisher and knife, being stabbed and then shooting him, fatally.

This is acutely relevant and must serve as a warning to residents of Southampton Town and Village, because the man who menaced residents and stabbed two police officers before they killed him was a resident of one of the condos in Blue Ridge owned by Concern for Independent Living, which are maintained within the mostly privately owned condo complex.

Mercy Haven and the Long Island Head Injury Association also own a smattering of condos there and, along with Concern, provide “support services” to the people they house. This mix of “support housing,” which includes “mental health programs” within a private community, has proven to be dangerous and riddled with problems — the latest of which is the stabbing and fatal shooting.

How will it play out if Liberty Gardens, another of Concern’s projects, is built here on County Road 39?

Many people in Southampton have written and spoken against Jay Schneiderman and Concern for Independent Living’s lying by labeling Liberty Gardens as “local” and “workforce housing” and invoking local “need.”

Now, no longer able to evade the truths exposed by the public, which he manipulated, Schneiderman pleads ignorance: “At the outset it was presented to the public as workforce housing for local workers,” he says, leaving out that he was the major “presenter” of this lie, which Concern crafted, and his supplicants on the Town Board and in the Planning Department perpetuated.

Now exposed, he says he “struggled a little bit” upon learning that Liberty Gardens was for veterans with mental illness. Implying that he only lately became aware of funding by the State Office of Mental Health? After four years?

The truth was there from day one for anyone entrusted with due diligence. Instead, the public was fed an alternate scenario crafted by the developer and our reprehensible gatekeepers, and left to find the truth on its own.

Now is the time to stop Liberty Gardens, people. Or don’t be “shocked” later by the realities confronting your neighborhood after Schneiderman is long gone.

Frances Genovese