Regarding the article “Southampton Town Board And Supervisor Candidates Debate The Issues” [27east.com, October 22], I’d like to summarize the ideas I offered for your readers who didn’t attend or view the Town Council debates.
Throughout the debates, I articulated specific policies over generalities. For example, when discussing affordable housing, I suggested adaptive reuse, where we find blighted structures and rehabilitate them to create workforce apartments. This removes a troubled property from a hamlet and creates an opportunity for people to stay here.
On the issue of taxation, I stressed the need to find tax revenue from sources other than homeowners. I articulated an incentive plan for new and/or expanding industry, where we reduce or eliminate application fees and phase in taxes over a five-year period. The added revenue will ease the tax burden on homeowners and create local jobs.
We spoke about water quality issues quite a bit. I suggested that permeable reactive barriers acting as natural contaminant filters could be installed around sensitive shorelines. I voiced support for expanding the outreach of the Innovative/Alternative septic system rebate program for homeowners. I expressed excitement about expanding the strategic reintroduction of filtering shellfish in our bays, and continuing the eelgrass replenishment program.
I spoke about the interconnections of land use, environment, and energy when referencing the future of hydroponic farming, which will use vertical space for produce, reduce or eliminate nitrogen loading into the soil, and open up land for solar farm usage. In a sense, our farms can be transformed into eco-friendly, self-powered produce growth, and become green energy providers that the Community Choice Aggregation can purchase.
Throughout the campaign, I stressed the need for civility, communication and cooperation. We should set goals and implement plans together. Many hamlets have robust and active civic associations, CACs and other advisory groups. These groups provide vital hamlet specific information that Southampton Town government should use in order to make sound decisions.
I’ve been working with Southampton Town for a long time as vice-chair of the CAC-West, Community Preservation Fund Advisory Board member, Speonk-Remsenburg Civic Association board member, and community liaison and organizer for the Speonk Commons workforce apartments complex. I have creative ideas, I do my homework, and I’ve proven that I can bring people together to reach common ground.
I’d be honored to have the support of Southampton voters on November 5.
Mr. Catalanotto is a candidate for Town Council on the Democratic Party line — Ed.
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