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Huntington POV: Blight Busting Manifesto

Failure is an orphan and success has 1000 fathers. The blight that has settled itself so solidly in Huntington may be an orphan, but it is looking more and more like a bastard stepchild. Let’s start naming names and cultivating a crop of Huntington town fathers and mothers.

Deadbeat Dad Number 1
Lack of code enforcement sets a negative feedback loop spinning. Legitimate landlords in our neighborhoods have to compete on price with underpriced, illegal offerings. The illegal offerings are cheaper than legit rentals for a number of reasons including not shouldering a fair tax burden and freedom from the expense of meeting code (proper egress, plumbing, electric, etc). The illegal housing stock creates a playing field that is not level for rule-abiding landlords who then may deal with downward price pressure on their own rental units by skimping on upkeep and taking risks on tenants. Now the vicious cycle has been set firmly in place. The supply of additional low cost inventory in the neighborhood by additional landlords rises as residents see what their neighbors get away with. More supply and negative pricing pressure beget lower rents, lower compliance with zoning and a race to cut costs especially on any maintenance beyond what is minimally necessary to keep structures habitable.

Deadbeat Dad Number 2
The town government approves and supports high-density housing projects to improve neighborhoods. These projects inevitably include “affordable” housing which the government says is necessary, pointing to the large numbers of people willingly living in substandard illegal housing that has proliferated through the neighborhood as a result of lax code enforcement by the same town government. The high density projects with their tax breaks shift costs of schools, sewers and roads to the pre-existing residents and landlords who do not receive similar tax breaks. The cycle of decline spins faster. The new high-density projects send more kids than tax dollars to the school system. The financially pressured school district becomes less and less attractive to young families – another negative price pressure on the struggling neighborhood. As houses come on the market they become more likely to be purchased by an absentee landlord who is willing to flaunt zoning laws and less likely to be purchased by working families looking for a healthy environment with a good school for raising kids.

Deadbeat Dad Number 3
Some of the residents of the illegal rentals are illegal themselves. These workers create an unfair playing field of their own. They are not on the tax rolls, do not pay into social security and may be here earning what they can to send money back to a family in Central America. Nothing wrong with supporting a family of course, it’s just that doing so is a lot more affordable in Central America than Huntington. A landscaper hires her crew from the illegal rather than legit pool of workers. She now has lower operating costs than her competitors and can win jobs on price while remaining profitable. We’re now into another negative pricing cycle. Tradesmen throughout town are faced with the choice of being price competitive based on their willingness to hire illegal workers. Commodity pricing is very powerful and soon the number of Central American families being supported by the work of an apprentice plumber in Huntington is rising while the number of apprentice plumbers making mortgage payments on their Huntington starter homes falls.

Who are the potential mothers and fathers of a turnaround?

Demanding Dad Number 1
Recognize that the appropriate role for town government is the enforcement of rules designed to enhance the lives and properties of existing residents. This means avoiding schemes designed to increase housing density. More important it means developing tactics to protect individual homeowners. Every time a house changes hands is a chance to improve a neighborhood and a risk of decline. Make and enforce rules that stack the odds in favor of improvement.

Demanding Dad Number2
Create a tax holiday for any individual who buys a home that has been rented for the past three years. Instead of trying to clear out existing housing stock and replace it with Queens-style blocks, create tax structures to make the neighborhood attractive to first time home-buyers who want to live in a village rather than a borough.

Demanding Dad Number 3
Create similar tax incentives for businesses that will inhabit and rehab commercial lots on the 110 Corridor. Can the town cut a deal with a high-end grocer like whole foods or a quirky one like Trader Joes? Rather than the town playing master developer, they should just set up the incentives for the right businesses and allow the existing ecosystem of real estate developers to bring deals to the table.

Demanding Dad Number 4
Make Huntington a worker’s paradise; and we don’t mean that to resemble Karl Marx’s plans in any respect. Tradesmen, local businesspeople, commuters and anyone with families traditionally share a common desire, a great education for their kids. HUFSD3 is the school district for the heart of Huntington. As HUFSD3 goes, so go home values throughout the town and the viability of the village as a destination. HUFSD3 should set as its goal topping Cold Spring Harbor in athletics, academics and college admissions. The point is not to create more intramural rivalry within the Township, but to hold every part of the town accountable to the same high standards. We know the underpinning economics in the two districts are vastly different, yet the per student expenditure is not that far off. Huntington residents should insist that their schools aim high rather than merely partying with the average. Our kids deserve better and we owe them the example of setting the bar high and exceeding our goals.

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18 comments to Huntington POV: Blight Busting Manifesto

  • What's your agenda Mr Koubek?

    “I think the defeat of Avalon has spurred
    on some very radical anti-development
    people in the Station,” Koubeck said. “But
    my hope is that the Town Board will look
    at the interests of the whole town and the
    long-term interests of the Station and not
    cave into this radical group that’s got all
    kinds of agendas.”

  • Radical #13

    Ken C has started name calling again in local papers. Now he wants to call tax paying homeowners “radicals” just that will be the new “name” as NIMBYS was already ripped to shreds.What a sick bunch of dummies we have running this town right into the ground. And why should they care? None of them live here.

    2 will never be re-elected. 1 needs to be indicted, 1 should cover his head while this is all going down, and the head fat man needs to retire before the election, if he is still there after the election he wont be for long. Let’s all send him some fried chicken and speed up his eventual process….

  • J. Mc.

    Don’t worry, Highview is fine! The fence is going in as of this week so they won’t see a thing. If they can’t see the blight, it does not exist nananananananananananananana……..by the way.Looks like the fence company that Town Hall decided on had 1 man from Commack and 6 possible men from El Salvador(why they dont use local????). When asked for identification they said “no problem” and kept working. Guess they left it back at their illegal apartment with their other 50 “cousins” to watch the one drivers license they all share.

    • J.McH

      I told you that fence was going to be too damn high.It is a perfect canvas for my nieghborhoodlums to express thier artistic capabilities.Good luck.

  • Vivienne H. Wong

    excellent points.

  • Radical #17

    I thought our communtiy was finally going to be able to focus on our schools. I guess these people do not feel that we deserve a break. How many thousands of radicals signed the anti-Avalon Bay petitions. I wonder if all those angry radicals will come out to vote in November? Since there was 800 Anti-Avalon Bay lawn signs, I guess there is at least 1600 “angry radicals” that live in the area surrounding the Bonavita property. Not everyone can be as level headed as the YIMBY’s. Look what a great job their policies have done for H.S. and SD 3.

  • Stop the build up now we can’t afford any more increases in property taxes.If it continues all that will be left will be the rich and day workers,middle class blue color workers and Seniors will have sold their homes and moved away.MO

  • m

    does it matter to anyone you cant move on ny ave…does it natter that the streets couldnt be plowed because of all the excess cars in the neighborhood…how many more people can the town handle

  • John Fried

    We need a leader who is not being influenced by special interests or who is not greedy and cares about this country. Chris Cristie tells it like it is. I would do the same thing. I know for a fact if I were leader all I have to do is tell the truth follow the constitution. SIMPLE.

  • RWM

    The Problem with “Demanding Dad #4” is that none of the board members live in SD3, so they would screw us further.

  • Don Corleone

    Just when I thought I was out, They pull me back in!!

  • night owl

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. Town officials past and present have made their prosperous living making Huntington Station into a third world slum. Politicians like Frank Petrone, Mark Cuthbertson, Susan Berland, former political leaders like Paul Tonna,Ken Christensen have sided with local and out of state developers and real estate brokers to down zone the Huntington Station area for profit. Ken Christensen did so as a town councilman voting for apartments in single family houses. Then he and town officials past and present ran a scheme by which Huntington town officials always granted accessory apartment permits. In a just world the DA would have investigated all the corruption but not in Huntington. In a just world the NYS AG would have investigated the corruption in Huntington along with the County DA looking the other way.

    • Night of outrage 4-12

      Night of Outrage-Tuesday, April 12th, 7 PM Town Hall Meeting

      The sad facts is after the summer murders and assaults quieted down during a record cold winter, the Town returned to what they have always done, painting the problem as one caused by a handful of NIMBY’s in SD#3.

      Meanwhile they pose for picture in front of the new 20 million dollar ice skating rink in Berlands/Petrone/Israel’s backyard in HHH. Cuthbertson is in Northport “demanding” at a Northport School Board meeting LIPA put a Huntington rep on its Board to fight the negative impact to Northport schools once the plant is reassessed from the insane 3.5 billion number the Town assesses it at. (plant is worth 500 million so Northport houses pay half of what we pay because the Town purposely over accessed it for decades).

      So what has changed? Nothing.

      No Huntington Station resident sits on the ZBA despite the Town having 4 openings to appoint a rep.

      Petrone hasn’t been in the Station since last summer. Israel is running around the country looking for money for Dems running for Congress while he ignores his backyard, the murder capital of LI.

      The Town after a huge public outcry to deny Avalon is back begging Avalon to come back.

      Gateway Gardens is also getting ready for round two with the ZBA based on the ZBA virtually pleading with them to do something but just make it a bit “smaller” than 26 units per acre.

      Code Enforcement has no Director, three months after the former Director retired.

      Don Pius and the Huntington Housing Authority continue to work to make sure all section 8 placements are in HS, and in return the HHA agrees to let Pius house criminals and not file any code enforcement against him.

      None of this would happen in any other school district in the Town. It happens in SD 3 because Petrone and company still believe it’s OK to dump anything they want in the minority section of Huntington Station. If anyone squawks they will buy off whoever and assume the Spanish won’t say boo. Funny the liberals in the Dem party are the biggest racist of them all because they don’t live here.

      Mark your calendars for Tuesday April 12th 7 PM Town Hall meeting for a “Day of Outrage”. We’ll let every news station in America know what the United States Supreme Court stated clearly, this Town continues to follow its racist agenda.

      If its low income, high density it goes in SD 3, if we fight back they call Joye Browne at Newsday to run a story incredibly painting us as the racist. If a white part of the Town though such as Northport, CSH, CSH has a problem the Town can’t run quick enough to help them out. Low income next to Northport HS, 40 years later nothing but you want to build it in HS we’ll give you a permit next month? The Greens is HHH, 1300 units and no low income units or section 8, can you imagine if they build 1300 units in HS how Berland and Jackson would scream “we need affordable housing for “our” residents (so long as its in HS).

      Israel, Cooper, Petrone, Jackson, Berland, Cuthbertson we are coming and maybe we we’ll take a note from the people in WI and bring sleeping bags. Nothing else has worked. You guys are a total disgrace.

      04/12/11 7:00 PM Town Board Meeting Huntington New York

  • longtime HS resident

    I have April 12 down on my calendar.

    Right on!

  • REVOLT

    Is not anyone just sick and tired of the ZBA and JOKE enforcement, there are fairly simple ways to get rid of this inept corrupt town, #1 There has to be a way to recall / impeach Petrone, Naughton for not abiding by the town’s code, and if you can’t impeach SHOW UP FOR ONCE ON ELECTION DAY
    FORM PROTEST GROUPS AND SHOW UP AT TOWN HALL AS WELL AS THEIR HOMES!
    SHOW UP AT EVERY TOWN BOARD MEETING AND PROTEST THERE UNTIL THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY WORK FOR US, HENCE ELECTED OFFICIAL. NOT A PERSONAL PATRONAGE JOB WHERE THEY DO THINGS IN THEIR INTEREST NOT THE PEOPLES.
    WE HAVE TO HAVE A CONCISE AND TARGETED WAY OF MAKING THE BOARD AND THE EMPLOYEES OF THE TOWN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

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