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Letter to the Editor: Spencer’s Budget Reporting Dilemma

Dear Editor:

After reviewing a recent flier by William Spencer a number of immediate questions surfaced. This piece directed the typical criticism of Elizabeth Black’s school budget voting record. In the absence of any substantial voting record for William Spencer, I wanted to gain a better insight of William Spencer’s potential approach ahead of the election of Suffolk County Legislator for the 18th Legislative District. What I have come across is alarming. Not only has William Spencer proposed high density development twice the lawful limit, but as Chairman of the Huntington Housing Authority he has violated the town law requiring full disclosure of financial information to the public.

The Housing Authority controls millions of dollars of Federal, State and County taxpayers’ monies. In 2010 alone, the Housing Authority controlled Housing Assistance payments totaling $6,318,399.00. Spencer has been the Chairman since 2003-2010 and has failed to annually disclose to the public what is going on and how the money is being used until last year.

As Huntington Housing Authority Chairman, he violated the town law by failing to file quarterly financial reports with the town itemizing all disbursements and receipts and failing to file annual audits and reports. This serious violation should not be tolerated by anyone, let alone one who seeks to be a Legislator and the people’s representative.

On the heels of a financial scandal at the Huntington Housing Authority in 1999, Steve Israel was at the forefront of legislation to require “regular and systematic disclosure and dissemination of financial and operational information of the Huntington Housing Authority.” The purpose is “to ensure that the people of this town are fully informed as to the financial activities and operations” of the Housing Authority. It is ironic that Spencer criticizes the school budget process which has full public disclosure through public hearings and a vote and yet he does not disclose how the taxpayers’ monies at Huntington Housing Authority are being handled. When William Spencer was appointed by the politicians to the position on the board of the Housing Authority he took an oath to uphold the law. Does that not mean anything?

I would suggest that William Spencer may want to clean up his own “House” before he continues to criticize another. Elizabeth Black has served our residents well and participates in full public disclosure as School Trustee. On the other hand, Dr. Spencer has failed to show us the money for which he is responsible.

The choice is clear. On Tuesday, November 8th, Elizabeth Black will get my vote and I hope yours as well.

Sincerely,

Robert W. Lund

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