Letter: ‘Overdevelopment’ Allowed for the Wealthy

Dear Editor:

The Huntington GOP swept the town elections in 2021, winning a 4-1 majority and the Supervisor’s office. Their platform, as published on Supervisor Smyth’s campaign page on the Huntington GOP website, centered on “stopping reckless overdevelopment” and “preserving open space.” The Supervisor was the lone vote against approving the Matinecock development in East Northport, presumably because he thought that was an example of “reckless overdevelopment.”
Fast forward 1 year, and Supervisor Smyth and the GOP-run Town Government has shown its true colors on this issue of “overdevelopment.” The Huntington ZBA has approved high-end retirement condos and the construction of a private golf clubhouse that the overwhelming majority of Huntington residents will not be able to afford or access. The Huntington GOP has made it clear that they are pro-development for wealthy elites. But if a proposed project is going to help middle class people and public servants afford to raise a family here, they label it as “over-development.”
Two seats on the Town Council are up for grabs in the Fall of 2023. Turnout is typically low for these elections.
But this Indian Hills project is why local elections are arguably more important than the federal or statewide elections. If anybody is awake at the Huntington Democratic Committee, they might take note that Town Hall just handed them a great campaign issue. If the Dems are not willing to run candidates who will fight for affordable housing options for local families, maybe it’s time for a third party or independent candidate to run on the affordability issue.
In Fall, 2023, we get to decide what we want Huntington’s future to look like. Do we want to see the remaining open spaces carved up into golf condos, or do we want police officers and nurses to be able to raise their families here? Do we want Huntington to turn into Mar-a-Lago, or do we want it to continue to be a vibrant, eclectic, and diverse community of people who live, work, and shop here? Let’s hope that voters have a choice on this and other issues next fall instead of the usual slate of candidates lacking clearly discernible policy positions. Housing feeds our local economy. Town candidates will be announced sometime in the late winter/early spring of 2023. Pay attention, get involved, and vote!

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