Banner Of Ignorance - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1842135

Banner Of Ignorance

It is immensely disheartening that this newspaper buttressed its advocacy for “affordable housing” with the simplistic shibboleths of Michael Daly.

It swallowed, then regurgitated, Daly’s two-part reduction of a complex, critical and troubling national housing problem into his “NIMBY/YIMBY” tribal opposites [“Saying Yes,” Editorial, December 9].

This local pundit’s starkly limited approach to the problem, as well as solution, is divided by two. The bad guys (NIMBYs) are the bigots and racists packing undue influence who can’t see beyond their prejudices, blind fears and property-protecting instincts, joined by retired malcontents who oppose everything. Ignorant and brainwashed they stand in the way of the good guys (YIMBYs), a group formed by him and led by him, who aim to change their perceptions.

The newspaper, by airing and echoing Mr. Daly’s inanities, has established him as a de facto authority. Based on what? Longevity and logorrhea?

Nowhere accounted for in Daly’s binary worldview and his preachings are the opposing forces of land grabs, corrupt governance, limited resources, unfettered overdevelopment — by the greedy, in service to the wealthy — and overseas investment in U.S. luxury real estate. Surely that might factor in a smidge.

Never mentioned are the consequences of increased, unsustainable density on natural and municipal resources and the environment.

Astutely avoided is the money that settles in the hands of the “management companies” who emerge to run many of the “complexes.”

Though prompted many times, there is no clarity of who qualifies for the housing. Instead, there are callously sentimental calls for “workforce” housing. The “workforce,” as well as the “overwhelmingly locals or former locals forced out” evoked in the editorial, will find themselves waiting their turn along with the rest of the people in the country who are entitled by law.

“Balance is key,” according to the editorial, referring specifically to the Community Preservation Fund having facilitated too much preservation — that’s news to me! — without a plan for “affordable housing.”

Mr. Daly is in a prime position to redress this. He should rally his Village of North Haven, which owns a commodious parcel of “preserved” land bordering his very own backyard. Has he opened his arms or his mouth to “welcome” affordable housing there? Seems like a good place for him to start.

And, “honestly,” the newspaper should refrain from repeating Daly-esque red herrings like: “No, the town’s waiting lists are not full of crafty folks from all over the country looking for a cheap summer house (sic).” In quotes — but said by whom?

Instead of relying on catch-all acronyms, a little scut work, documentation and analysis might provide a welcome reality check. By reiterating the chant to change “not” to “yes,” this newspaper is rallying around the Daly Banner of Ignorance.

Frances Genovese