Just as Jay Schneiderman’s contempt for the public was apparent when the Nelson Pope Voorhis contract failed to delete comments that revealed the town’s intent to disparage opposition as NIMBY-ism, labeling it “public outreach,” so is his latest outrageous overreach: telling the public to stay home from the upcoming Bel-Aire Cove Motel public meeting if they wanted to discuss anything but his two development alternatives.
So as not to stray too far from reality, the public, as well as this supervisor, should remember: Schneiderman was elected by the public to execute their wishes, address their concerns, spend their money wisely and work for the common good. Not as a point man for developers and special interests, and to promote cronyism, his political trajectory and his ego.
Having spent $106 million of public money to purchase and demolish a blighted property (which could be seen, no matter how deplorable, as “workforce housing”), he then began his pitch for a “shovel-ready” development of luxury condos or a boutique hotel, complete with the added incentive of preapproved permits. He has wisely taken that prize off the table while assuring the involved developers that the town would expedite the process. Also off the table is his usual chest-beating about the crisis of affordable housing.
He assumes he can declare that discussion of creating a park on the site (which has overwhelming community support) is “not going to happen” and only his two developments will be addressed. Since when is public discussion limited to addressing his priorities? And since when does the public have no say in determining the way in which their funds are used or denied input about what they envision for their community?
Said public should come out in full force to this meeting and overrule his dictates — if only by shouting him down.
This supervisor is adept at putting his ducks in a row. I seem to remember in the past a hint or two dropped about the town possibly needing to create the position of “town manager.” And I am hearing in the present that, as mayor of Westhampton Beach, Marie Moore would be over her head if elected supervisor. So, might she be open to creating the town manager position (waiting in the wings) and giving it to (who else?) Schneiderman to guide her through the morass?
It is not too soon to ponder the reality of Schneiderman, who is not being considered for any elected position, hanging on here as a handsomely paid employee, and continuing to exert his particular influence through an overwhelmed supervisor.
He also would no doubt continue to write songs — and the public once again will be left to face the music.
One fine body…