I am shocked and saddened by the article in the Daily Freeman today, "Opponents cheer housing delay". I find it amusing that I was the only candidate that stated I was a Businesswoman and I have worked in Corporate America a quarter of a life time and my decision was to listen to the Safe Harbors Proposal. Why should we ever allow politics to get in the way of the PEOPLE and what is for the betterment of this community. LEADERS LISTEN
Freeman Article On Saturday 8/6/2011 states: Safe Harbors Executive Director Tricia Haggerty Wenz informed Kingston officials that the plan had been put on hold, largely because it had become "tangled up in Kingston's election year politics." "Calm deliberation and objective analysis of the thoughtful proposal have been replaced with the condemnation of affordable housing in general and a stereotyping of our development plan as a failed idea before it has even been reviewed," Wenz wrote, reacting to almost unanimous opposition to Safe Harbors' Plan by Kingston Mayoral candidates."
This is absolutely incredible that they are walking away with negative press. The King's Inn Review Committee was formed to solicit proposals and they were the only entity to put forth a plan. We should be commending them for their effort and have made every effort to LISTEN so we could have been informed with the facts prior to making any decisions. "I disagree with Andi Turco Levin to put this on the back burner until a new Administration takes over," and I certainly would never say that "Putting more income housing in Midtown would be like throwing gasoline on a fire". If we are telling the community we want to be their next Mayor is it not our responsibility as candidates to listen on behalf of the very people that will be electing us. Common sense tells you that. This is why we need BUSINESS LEADERS.
If Elected Mayor of the City of Kingston, I Jean C. Jacobs pledge to the Safe Harbors Executive director and staff that I will organize and schedule a meeting to listen to their proposal. This will be a collaborative effort to partner with Safe Harbors, Community members, and the Kingston Business Alliance. As stated in the Freeman Jean Jacobs takes a wait to see approach does not totally define my position. My wait to see approach was defined in an e-mails to Mr. Kirby which I will attach here:
Dear Mr. Kirby: E-Mail 7/23/2011
I am the only candidate for Mayor that voiced the importance of listening to what the housing plan had to offer. If you have a business intelligence and have worked in corporate America it is your job as a LEADER to listen to every presentation that may very well be the crowing glory to our fine City. Current Leadership is the very reason why we are in our current position. What alternatives have been offered to increase the tax base and lower (expense) taxes?
I totally agree with Chris Silva letter and will be contacting him personally. He is absolutely correct in his discussion and presentation and all of the candidates should have given them the opportunity to present their plan before making a judgement call.
I would appreciate your response.
7/20/2011 E-mail to Mr. Paul Kirby:
My stand as a Mayoral candidate focuses on the NEED and not the OPPOSITION regarding Kings Inn. I don't like the word oppose I rather work in the best interest of the Community and realize the importance of improving the Broadway Corridor together. There is a considerable amount of emphasis on Broadway and Midtown. As a candidate for Mayor in the City of Kingston my Vision and Platform is unique. I look at the City as a whole and for the betterment of the entire city and all of the residents. I don't see this as the easy way out by considering housing.
I realize that we are living in a poverty city and people can no longer afford their homes, taxes or utilities. We are forcing the housing issue to be a focus because people would be on the streets homeless. The average salary is between 28,000 and 32,000. Our taxes are almost 75% higher than any other State in the nation. Ask yourself this question? How many residents currently live in Kingston? How many lived in Kingston 10 years ago. The figures will astound you. When I served on the school board there were over 12,000 students and now there are about 7,000 or less? These are important facts that go into decisions that affect the future of our city. Also 50% or more of the children in the Kingston City School District are on free and reduced lunch? Look at the NEED and then realize that we must focus on the entire City. Many families in uptown and downtown have felt the crunch of the economy and many have lost their substantial paying jobs. This is a reality.
Several years ago the issue on the table was the possibility of a condo high rise complex in up-town Kingston. Why the opposition? What do we have today? We have a run down parking lot costing the taxpayers money each and every day. What could have been is the question?? We must stop singling out Uptown, Midtown and Downtown and focus on the City as a whole. Ask yourself this question: The Kirkland Hotel and the millions to refurbish this fine historical building. Tell me are we generating revenue today to offset the cost of the project? Who is picking up the Shortfall. The Taxpayer
Lets play a game: I don't want the high rise condo complex that just might have increased the tax base, offered jobs and boosted the economy in the entire City of Kingston. Now we are discussing the possibility of low income housing in Midtown because people do not have the income to sustain a higher standard of living. My heart goes out to this population of people and our nation on a daily basis is losing the Middle Class families. In the future the Middle Class population will be extinct and everyone will need affordable housing.
Jean C. Jacobs
Mayoral GOP Candidate
City of Kingston