Not a Landslide - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2074330

Not a Landslide

Your recent article about the “heavy lifting” that will now have to be performed to get the Community Housing Fund up and running is of great interest [“Thiele Schools Towns, Stakeholders on Next Steps for Community Housing Fund,”, January 23].

In particular, we now have a somewhat better description of the makeup of the advisory boards that will be created. I read there will be seven to 15 members from the following areas: banking, real estate, construction. Assuming one representative from each field gives us a total of three.

Next, we have three representatives from “housing advocacy,” which now gives us a total of six. No. 7 is a little vague, but if I read the article correctly, a town or village representative will make it seven.

That makes the minimum total of seven, all with some level of self-interest. My question is: How about the other eight spots? Are there, indeed, to be any spots beyond seven? As it seems that is the minimum number, and anything beyond that seems to be optional and not required.

And even if there are to be eight other members, how will they be selected? Anyone who has ever attended a town meeting knows that special interests like to fill the room when there are hearings that are of interest to them. That also can go for advisory boards, further skewering representation. Is there some plan to make these advisory boards balanced, or are they to be simply platforms to further promote the goals of the first seven members?

Remember, the Community Housing Fund referendum was a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent — not exactly a landslide.

Forest Markowitz

Westhampton Beach