Letters to the editor: There’s room for affordable housing


There’s room for affordable housing

I was reading the Feb. 29 Suffolk Times and between the paper’s “Opinion” column and the “Letters” columns, affordable housing and overdevelopment were mentioned often. In my travels around the North Fork, I have seen many opportunities to create affordable housing without breaking new ground. There are buildings in several areas that are for sale that could collectively be turned into hundreds of units with some redesigning. 

The former Capital One building in Mattituck is one; it has great potential. There is a recessed parking area in front that could handle three or four full-sized buses, loads of on-premises parking and plenty of shopping close by. The North and South forks are both easily accessible from there for workers. There could be 150 to 200 small efficiency apartments made there, I bet. There are several other buildings suitable for smaller complexes. 

I think the only things between turning these housing projects from idea to reality is the will to do them and the need to overcome tons of unnecessary red tape. I believe that physically the low-income housing problem could be easily solved. My guess is that the desire and need for it (among those who don’t need it but could make it happen) is not yet strong enough to overcome the social and governmental road blocks to it, and may never be. 

Also, concerning this Enclaves fiasco, I don’t get it. If everyone said no, why is it a go, with associated tax breaks? A small forest has been destroyed to accommodate this ugly, unnecessary mess. Wow! If that doesn’t tell you how small and insignificant we are as North Fork residents, nothing will! Big dough and pricey law firms just run roughshod over us. What happened to “We the people?”

Anthony McDonald


I am resigning from the park district

To Pat Kelly and Dave Bergen, after our last meeting when you voted to continue the work at Dave Allison Park, I realized that you are not concerned that this work will simply make it harder for disabled people to use the park. This work puts them further away than they ever had to go before. It will also make the park 20% less accessible to those who have to drive to the park. This turns it into a small access park that does not benefit all the people in New Suffolk and Cutchogue, instead, benefiting the people who live close to it more than everyone else.

While you are comfortable with this, I am not! I will not work with you in continuing this injustice to our community. So I am resigning as a commissioner of the Cutchogue New Suffolk Parks District. 

Carl Vail


The IDA should go

Hats off to the Southold Town Board for taking on the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency and seeking a divorce from this government agency whose sole purpose in the Town of Southold is to create more congestion. Think not? Look it up. Here’s the IDA’s mission statement:

“The mission of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is to promote economic development in the county by helping businesses expand and grow, increase employment opportunities and add to the quality of life for the residents of Suffolk County.” 

So here are the questions: 1) Does Southold really need more expansion and growth of its businesses? 2) Does Southold need an increase in employees in the town? 3) How does expansion, growth and more people working in Southold add to the quality of life here?

The IDA may be a terrific idea on a desert island that needs more businesses, jobs and expansion of existing ones. But as a resident of the Town of Southold, I’m perfectly content with all the restaurants we already have or the beds and breakfasts or hotels that are already here or the number of people working in Southold and driving on the roads and creating an almost impossible task to make a left turn on Main Road due to the bumper-to-bumper cars traversing it.

I can’t think of a single reason how the quality of life of Southold’s residents will be improved by the construction of a luxury hotel named the Enclaves. And to boot, saddling Southold’s taxpayers with the bill for public services used by the Enclaves while its owners get a tax break is the height of bad planning.

When government agencies are created, they look for work. The IDA looks to expand things. Southold doesn’t need any expansion. Ipso facto, the Suffolk County IDA works at cross purposes with the needs and desires of the community. This new and unnecessary hotel should never have been approved. I say let the IDA go do its congestion work in some other community that isn’t already overrun.

Michael Levy


Developers should also provide housing

Although my wife and I have been visiting the Southold/Greenport area for many years, we just recently moved here. Over the years, there have been many attempts to get approval to develop affordable housing. It seems that NIMBYism always wins out and the plans go by the boards. Having made a rather large payment to the Peconic Bay Region Community Preservation Fund, I wonder what that fund contains, and whether any of it will ever be utilized. Additionally, if a developer wants to build, for example, a large hotel in the middle of Southold, why not require them to provide on-site housing for at least some of the staff? Perhaps they can give a little to get a little. Just a thought.

Dave James


Choose only one taxpayer paycheck

With the pending retirement of Southold Town solid waste coordinator James Bunchuck, the Town Board is now considering his successor. It is not especially unusual for the Town Board to consider current town employees, whether they happen to be current civil servants or elected officials. But it will be unusual for an elected official to also hold a civil service job from within the same township, at the same time, effectively collecting two taxpayer-funded paychecks. It has come to my attention that such a situation is now being considered in choosing the new solid waste coordinator. The honorable Nick Krupski, currently our esteemed Southold Town Trustee, is the applicant to whom I am referring.

Public service is often entered into with the highest intentions for humanity and the public good. Some make careers out of serving others. But, realistically, we all understand that our human nature can sometimes distract us away from our most honorable intentions or goals. And so it is with politics, money and power that all too often leads to a desire for self-enrichment at the expense of the public good. Would it not be better to leave one of those job opportunities for someone else, to appear magnanimous and grateful for the current advancement opportunity? And better still to avoid the appearance of any potential conflicts of interest is prudent, one would think.

Employment opportunities are earned based upon merit and ability certainly, and from utilizing one’s contacts and connections. I certainly do not begrudge anyone for doing such for their own good. So, to the honorable Nick Krupski, who has a good name in the Town of Southold; I say, go for it! If becoming a civil service employee of the Town of Southold is better for you and your family than staying on as our duly elected Trustee, that is your choice to make, of course. 

Best wishes to you and thank you in advance for your service. But most of all for doing the honorable thing here: choosing only one taxpayer funded position or the other. Not both.

John Nickles Jr.