Another Fund? - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1932938

Another Fund?

“This is one of those pieces of legislation where we can sleep well at night,” said Town Councilman Rick Martel of the push for yet another tax to create another “fund.”

I hope he will be well rested for the resistance. Anything bull-horned by Fred Thiele and Jay Schneiderman and a sleeping board can mean nightmares for the rest of us.

Fred Thiele, asleep when he should have been especially alert, was responsible for the chaos and consequences that erupted from the negligent inclusion of seasonal rentals in the New York State Tenants Protection Act. His constituents on the back burner, he did not catch it and then tried to rectify it ineffectually. Never addressing the transfer of inordinate powers to summer renters, he hyped restitution of full rental payments before occupancy.

No matter how much glistening spin he puts on back-tracking, in a two-step deal he bargained away the freedom of homeowners by imposing as a condition the over-reaching, egregious registration law on them. Try sleeping on that one.

Thiele previously established the Community Preservation Fund that is currently overflowing with money and has morphed, with his blessings, into a veritable slush fund for many dubious developments.

Take the $4.9 million land purchase on County Road 39, which was handed over to Star Aquatics by the ever-glib Jay Schneiderman for a “pool for children” project, which is in reality a two-story “sports complex” equipped with public meeting space and parking for 160 cars (to be built and maintained by donations?) — with Thiele’s okay.

It is time for the CPF, which is a real estate tax, to undergo serious reappraisal and should be closed down. Or exhaust that money for “affordable housing.”

Instead, half-woke Thiele wants to impose another real estate transfer tax in the Town of Southampton: 0.5 percent for a Community Housing Fund “dedicated” to ponying up 50 percent of purchase costs for first-time homebuyers, acquire property for sale or rent, rehabilitating housing, entering into public-private partnerships, and providing housing counseling services. Plus a pro bono “advisory board.”

The legislation is broad. There are a lot of things we can do with it, “offered” Kara Bak, in classic understatement. I’ll say. The developers and Realtors are already salivating. And Schneiderman is eying $15 million annually (the “funding component”) to play favorites with.

Both Thiele and Schneiderman need to be held to account for many glossed over bad decisions and acts — not allotted more funds. Neither would pass the used car salesmen test.

Plan to attend the public hearings. This broad legislation tax proposal is also subject to a referendum vote this November.

Plan to vote it down.

Frances Genovese