Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman claims he has not raised taxes in 20 years as an elected official [“Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman Presents ‘Bare Bones’ Budget For a Challenging Time,” 27east.com, September 25]. This is his third term in Southampton Town — not his 20th year.
During his term in Southampton, assessment values increased, which yield increased tax valuations; they have not been “frozen” for two years, as alleged.
In my immediate area of Hampton Bays, the tax bill for a house on Red Creek Road increased by $1,000. A house on Dewey Lane was assessed upward to a $16,000 tax for a small, old house; the owners were forced to sell because they (seniors) can’t pay $16,000.
Schneiderman claims he needs more taxes. So why did he just make the taxpayers buy a building in Westhampton for $4.1 million to be a “community/senior center”? Now we have to update, renovate, and maintain and staff this building, which duplicates the center in Hampton Bays.
Why did he make us buy and renovate an entire store for Code Enforcement, which already has a home? And the new location is adjacent to the store bought by Schneiderman’s board, which houses the town clerk, open only part time.
Why did Schneiderman buy a motel, whose violation/fine went unpaid? Why did Schneiderman take these properties off the tax roll if Southampton needs more taxes?
Under Schneiderman, jobs and salaries for the town increased. Why does the assessor’s office have seven employees, plus at least two contracts (and staff) with outside companies that do the assessments?
The Senior Nutrition Center (provides lunch) has at least six employees (not chefs); the center has been closed for eight months, except to deliver lunch. The center hired another driver recently instead of using existing staff at a shuttered facility to deliver lunch.
Former board member Christine Scalera stepped into a new job as a town attorney the next day after her term on the board expired. Her $125,000 salary is twice the market value salary. Her salary is more than twice that of a New York City assistant district attorney, who does three times the work volume. Southampton Police make almost twice the salary of a New York City cop.
I hope all taxpayers read the proposed town budget online and participate in the public hearing on October 27 and November 10. Call and write to Jay Schneiderman with your views.
Carol McCarville, Esq.
Mr. Schneiderman also served two terms as East Hampton Town supervisor — Ed.
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