Setting the Record Straight

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Conifer Affordable Housing Project at Hunts Place

We hope that moving forward our opponents will abandon this negative, false rhetoric, and focus instead on positive, future-focused proposals for how to improve outcomes for this community that we all love.  

 

In politics there are no referees. No umpires calling balls and strikes. If your opponents attack you or misrepresent your record or your positions, you have to call them out. No one else is going to do it.  


We are setting the record straight about the Confer Affordable Housing project at Hunts Place. The images to the left/above are from our opponents recent "news"-letter, along with our responses. 


"The Town Board led by Democratic Committee Supported Supervisor Barbara Gerrard” was the force behind and catalyst for the Confer project.
 

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Ivy Pool, Jeremy Saland and Jason Lichtenthal were not responsible for, nor involved in, the process or decisions that put the Conifer development into motion in 2011. Period.
 

Ignoring facts and implying that any of us is responsible for prior actions of elected officials simply because we are endorsed by the New Castle Democratic Committee and its current, but different, leadership is nonsensical. The sole purpose of this and similar statements is to further the specter of the Democratic Committee as a “bogeyman” and to distract from our respective accomplishments and efforts in the community.
 

Please provide specific facts or evidence that any one of us was involved in the then Town Board’s Conifer decision or then Supervisor Gerrard’s “enthusiastic letter.” When you are unable to do so, please present any corroboration that as councilmembers or community members, any one of us has taken a position on this issue that you, in fact, disagree with or that is different from Supervisor Rob Greenstein, and/or fellow Board Members Lisa Katz, Hala Makowska and former Board Member Adam Brodsky. Upon failing once again, please finally close the book on this Tammany Hall New Castle Democratic Committee theme. It simply cannot be reconciled with the facts, votes and positions, aka, the truth.


“Local elected Officials must be held accountable to a community first standard – they work for you.”
 

We agree! And we have a track record of the same.
 

If you wrongfully believe we have failed to maintain a “community first standard,” please provide credible corroboration – not regurgitated rhetoric - to support your [far from] thinly veiled inuendo that we do not put our community first.
 

Please remember that we have collectively, and actually, served the community as Town Board Members, Town Prosecutor, Millwood Fire Commissioner, Girl Scout Troop Leader, and baseball, softball, and soccer coaches, neighborhood association leaders, among other volunteer activities. We have lived a “community first standard” and look forward to discussing and comparing our current and past efforts with you.
 

“Westchester County continues to struggle with affordable housing options and in properly responding to the 2009 Housing settlement Agreement. In our Town, our leaders were so focused on the number of units that they forgot to focus on the people that would inhabit them.”
 

In lieu of rhetoric, please specify which [Town] leaders “forgot to focus on the people…” and whether any of them are your opponents in this election. If it is your belief that either Jeremy or Ivy have been derelict, please articulate with specificity how we failed and how our actions, votes or positions differed on this issue from our colleagues Supervisor Greenstein and Deputy Supervisor Katz, the same electeds whose banner you are carrying as Team New Castle.
 

If you had been involved at the time, you would know that Conifer agreed to install generators only after Councilman Saland “beat up” the developer to do so. Why? He was focused on putting people and residents first even if the developer and others did not recognize the less than desirable location of the housing.
 

Please advise how each of you were involved in challenging, offering solutions to, or mobilized against the Conifer development location like many of your fellow community members did when they engaged the developer and Town government. Our neighbors should know of your steps and efforts to better understand how you will advocate for them going forward. 


“We believe [the Conifer housing] might even violate the intent of the Settlement which was to build integrated (not isolated) housing.”
 

We have collectively consulted with counsel for countless hours on numerous issues with the Conifer development. Please advise if your belief is one based on legal analysis by an attorney and a review of any court decisions involving this development…or something more politically convenient.
 

Would you have disregarded the sound legal advice of the counsel – the firm that Team New Castle hired when they secured the majority of the Town Board after their first election?
 

Would you have voted differently than Supervisor Greenstein and the Town Board members that served with him and exposed the Town to financial damages – which would have come directly from taxpayer dollars, not insurance – in the likelihood that Conifer was successful in a lawsuit against New Castle? It is of critical import that the community know whether you would listen to the experts you hire or recklessly expose the Town to liability based on political pressure or whim.  



Last word...


We hope that moving forward our opponents will abandon this negative, false rhetoric, and focus instead on positive, future-focused proposals for how to improve outcomes for this community that we all love.