By James F. Shaughnessy Jr.
Having lived in Kingston for more than 27 years as well as being a member of the Kingston Board of Education for nearly half of that time, I am opposed to the Kingstonian housing project.
From the standpoint of an Uptown resident, the giveaway of a Fair Street Extension, a public street, is outrageous. The atrocious and out of scale design will seriously detract from the historical character and charm of the Uptown Kingston Stockade District, which had its origin in 1658.
From the standpoint of a school board trustee, the first payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) proposal for the project was presented to the school board in the autumn of 2018. I don’t believe that people should live in luxury housing for 25 years with a very large percentage of their property tax being abated. It doesn’t matter if you own or rent, a portion of your housing expense supports local public education. Property taxes are the traditional method of financing public education in New York State. If your housing taxes are reduced because of a PILOT agreement, the tax burden is shifted to the remaining residents and business of the school district. I have an obligation as a school trustee to use my best judgement to ensure the fair and necessary resources for educating our children. The claimed public benefits of the Kingstonian are for the most part mythical.
James Shaughnessy is a co-petitioner in the first successful legal challenge to any governmental decision involving the Kingstonian project process. If you would like to join him in continuing to challenge the Kingstonian process in the judicial system, please send him an email at: James.Shaughnessy.KNY at gmail.com