Two done-deal, side-by-side proposals being pushed by Jay Schneiderman are scurrying through a mockery of “review” during these last dog days of August. They are the STAR Sports Complex, posing as a “pool for kids to learn how to swim” [“Town Planning Board Dives In To STAR Pool Proposal,” 27east.com, August 17], and the Concern for Independent Living 60-unit housing complex on 9 acres, posing as a “small project” to house “local farmers, fishers, artists, youth,” and people who would love to live near their parents, per their flak, Michael Daly [“Drop In The Bucket,” Letters, August 12].
What these two proposed developments have in common — in addition to their proximity to each other, on idyllic County Road 39, access to public money and downzoning — is that neither answers any local need; both are potential financial liabilities, inappropriate, disastrously sited, traffic-generating, value-sucking, environmentally egregious boondoggles pump-primed by Schneiderman and his backup board. Both developments are represented by unctuous, platitude-spewing, self-anointed spokespeople, held to no standards or account, emboldened to say what they like and confident it will not be questioned.
Vague on accountability, the town unanimously passed a resolution in November 2020: In exchange for STAR being gifted a $4 million-plus parcel of Community Preservation Fund-purchased land, they are “committed” to provide the Town Board with updates on fundraising.
At last look, Jo DiVincenzi coyly told the head-bobbing Town Board that she was “delighted to share the news that STAR recently received a six-figure gift.” After numerous Freedom of Information requests, the town conceded that it has no record of funding.
Unwisely, she vowed her intention to follow the YMCA model in East Hampton — omitting that this “pool for children,” originally “East Hampton RecCenter,” went belly-up in a scant two years, leaving the town with debt before morphing into the lucrative YMCA RecCenter, where children have to be accompanied by adult members who paid stiff fees. What did it cost East Hampton taxpayers to bail that pool out? Schneiderman knows: He inherited the problem.
Using similarly loose language, the town also “committed to investigating all legal and jurisdictional steps … required to provide the opportunity for the aquatic center to be built.” Again, vague on financial reporting, documentation, oversight and due diligence. (Shouldn’t “opportunity” follow an “investigation,” not assume it?)
With similar insistence on his own ideology, Michael Daly continually hawks the Concern for Independent Living development as being for locals. Not so. Funded by federal and state money, it is open to anyone in the USA. Given the density, unspecified details and range of this particular project, it is an importation of problems.
As for what “independent” signifies in Concern for Independent Living’s name, what it is expected to minimally provide, as well as similarities and comparisons to “assisted living,” check for yourself at ilru.org.
One fine body…