With the first proposal, the school board was approached by AvalonBay 18 months before the town board's vote. The developer expressed an interest in working with the district to help mitigate any adverse impact. The school board ended up voting unanimously to oppose the town's Transit Oriented District Zone, because we felt it singled out Huntington Station for increased housing density and left open the opportunity for additional high-density developments in the future.
Regarding the second and most recent AvalonBay proposal, the school board has not been contacted by either AvalonBay or Town Hall. I asked the tax assessor and planning department to determine the estimated tax receipts from the proposed development. I was informed that the town would use the numbers put forth by AvalonBay, not a number generated by the tax assessor's office.
This lack of financial diligence by town hall, coupled with a skepticism toward the predicted number of children added to the school district, led to the school board voting unanimously in favor of a position of nonsupport, pending future discussions with AvalonBay and Town Hall.
Bill Dwyer, Huntington
Editor's note: The writer is president of the school board until his term ends this month.
I have always appreciated and valued what open discussion contributes to forming consensus and formulating public policy. However, I have little tolerance for willful misrepresentations and misinformation and for lack of civility.
Shortly after the Huntington Town Board discussed and approved the rezoning on June 6, the Greater Huntington Civic Association issued a statement replete with misrepresentations and misinformation, including an allegation that "one of our residents was attacked by our government" during the June 6 meeting.
Those who were at the meeting, and those who watch the video of the entire meeting on the town's website and television channel, will see the exact opposite. They will see a gentleman who was disorderly and who instigated a physical encounter with police trying to peacefully escort him from the meeting.
While his conduct was extreme, sadly, his behavior toward those who disagree with him typifies all too many of the AvalonBay opponents.
I do not challenge their right to oppose the application, nor do I dismiss their fervor. But as the record reflects, the proposal enjoys widespread support throughout the town from those who are trying to keep their adult children, or themselves, from leaving Long Island because they cannot find housing options that meet their budgets or lifestyle needs.
Frank P. Petrone, Huntington
Editor's note: The writer is the Huntington Town supervisor.