Jay's Promise - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2005806

Jay’s Promise

It is fervently to be hoped that Jay Schneiderman will adhere to his “vow” not to extend his term limit [“Schneiderman Vows That He Won’t Extend His Own Term Limit, But The Option Is Available To Add Terms For Town Board, Supervisor,” 27east.com, July 18]. Though he has been observed to speak out of both sides of his mouth, pontificating about one thing while aggressively pursuing its opposite simultaneously. And it has been rumored for months that he was “looking into ways” to extend term limits so as to run again, given his slim employment prospects.

Rather than viewing term limits as an unrealistic curb on the time needed by an elected official to achieve the “good” he is working toward, it can also be a necessary curb to stave off the damage and destruction he continues to cause.

Take, for example, Schneiderman’s assault on Tuckahoe. While holding forth, and being quoted endlessly about his concern for the horrendous traffic problems now endemic to Southampton, and how he is looking for solutions, he has instead steadfastly worked to load County Road 39 with onerous overdevelopment. Starting with the purchase of land on Magee Street, using Community Preservation Fund money, from a developer whose proposal for a mall was shot down, he mused about a variety of open space options — then engineered the relocation of a “pool for kids” in Hampton Bays to the mall site. He then added physical fitness to special exception uses to ease the way for the pool to morph into a two-story sports complex with 167 parking spaces and “meeting space.”

As a proponent of “affordable housing,” he might find it hard to keep his vow to disqualify himself from running again with the promise of all that money about to flow from the state. He has aided the name-changing proposal set forth by “Concern for Independent Living” (now changed to “Concern”) that would put 60 units on 5 acres (now called “Liberty Gardens”), on the Full Gospel Church site, smack on County Road 39 near Magee.

“I look forward to hearing from the community related to the potential impacts from this proposal” [“Environmental Study For Liberty Gardens, New Affordable Apartments, Is Ready For Prime Time,” 27east.com, July 18]. All the better to overrule and ignore them with the help of his compliant board and reliable consultants, like Voorhis, who stated (with a straight face?) that this project will “have no adverse impact on traffic” on the intersections of County Road 39 at Sandy Hollow Road, North Sea Road and North Bishops Lane.

“I don’t love leaving,” said Schneiderman. A view not shared by many who would love to see the back of him, and chance what a newly elected supervisor might do to right Town Hall and end the problems Schneiderman leaves in his wake. Some of which, as he continues to careen through the process, will be irreversible.

Thankfully, there are limits in place.

Frances Genovese