I would like to commend Sag Harbor Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy for bringing transparency and openness to the village. In a short time, she has stimulated important conversations on issues that are crucial to the village, including the environment and public space. I am sure that these conversations will lead to important progress on these issues.
I would ask the mayor, trustees and all players involved in village affairs to concentrate their efforts on an issue that has become front and center for much of the community: affordable housing. With a current median home price of $1.9 million (according to Zillow.com), stable housing is out of reach for anyone but the most affluent.
The backbone of Sag Harbor’s community is its first responders, teachers, tradespeople, retail workforce — working people who inhabit the village year-round. Many have lived here for several generations, others have arrived more recently, but all are an important part of the village’s life.
While extremely high real estate prices make creating affordable housing difficult, there are possible solutions. These may include creating incentives for accessory apartments and structures in the village, progressive (vs. regressive) property taxes, and creating affordable units in the areas that surround the village.
Of all the issues the village faces, housing is perhaps the greatest challenge. I urge the mayor and trustees to use their creativity and dedication to help make it possible for Sag Harbor’s year-round community to thrive for generations to come.
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