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Ethics Reforms

Our Town Planning Board (https://www.brookhavenny.gov/557/Planning-Board) and Zoning Board of Appeals (https://www.brookhavenny.gov/561/Zoning-Board-of-Appeals) are extremely powerful and shape our Town and make decisions on how our communities will look.  There are seven (7) members on each of these boards.  Here are the things I take issue with:

  • These boards are almost exclusively Republican, however, the Town of Brookhaven is not. Additionally, bringing in different viewpoints and ideas is healthy for these important decisions.
  • Two members (one each) on these boards are in leadership roles for a Brookhaven Town Political Committee.
  • At least three (3) members have given money to Councilmembers (totaling over $1500) just this year alone.

These incidences leave me wondering, who is keeping whom in power (and it’s obviously not in support of the residents), and are they honestly not discussing the cases coming before the Boards.

That may all be hearsay, but, to make certain that this is not happening, I propose these ethics changes:

  • Openly publicize (far and wide) the annual operational meeting where these appointments are made;
  • Publish Board openings to the public and have those interested submit resumes and their qualifications;
  • Set term limits for the Board members, they can currently serve in perpetuity;
  • As is constitutionally allowed, prohibit campaign donations being given by members of these Boards to elected officials. At the least, require these donations be publicly disclosed during campaign years, if not more often;
  • Require that Board members step down from positions of leadership in political organizations and vice versa.

You can query anyone’s campaign finance queries on the New York State Board of Elections website at:  https://www.elections.ny.gov/CFViewReports.html

We encourage you to do so, as there is another point to my ethics reforms:

  • Require that elected officials who receive campaign contributions from developers, corporations, etc which have pending cases for the Town Board’s review be publicly disclosed and published.

At a time when the Town touts moving away from fossil fuels, my opponent has received funding from CAITHNESS Long Island, LLC, a fossil fuel burning energy plant, and Leon Petroleum, LLC.  Additionally, my opponent has received donations from developer who repeatedly threatened constituents in the district.


Sarah Deonarine for Council
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