In subsequent weeks, it has become clear that this is an issue of great concern to the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and its mission of promoting business in the Town of Huntington. The consensus of the Chamber Board is that the initiative of adopting a ward system will create roadblocks to business with Council members acting parochially instead of in the best interest of the Town. Citing examples from towns that adopted a ward system (i.e. Brookhaven, North Hempstead) the Chamber believes that a ward system of governance slows business development and job creation by creating more hurdles for companies and developers. In addition, a review of available evidence from these towns suggests that a ward system would result in higher costs of government.
“Currently, Town Board members must win in at-large elections and answer to the electorate of the entire Town of Huntington. The ward system would divide the Town into districts, which would encourage parochialism and impede ‘big picture’ initiatives that benefit the entire town,” said Bob Bontempi, Huntington Chamber Chairman. “All Town residents have an opportunity under our current system of governance to be heard at Town Board meetings, on all public hearings and on any matter before the Town that they wish to address. Moreover, under our current system each Town Board member is a representative of every resident Town-wide, and answers to every voter. They, therefore, must base decisions upon the greater good of the entire Town,” he continued.
With the recent economic challenges local businesses are facing, the Chamber feels this special election serves as a distraction and is derailing the focus and work that should be taking place to support local business. “We should be focusing on decreasing vacancy rates in the Town and finding effective strategies and solutions which can be implemented for our local business community,” Bontempi continued. “In these difficult economic times we do not need to take part in a risky experiment that makes it more difficult for business owners to create jobs and encourage business growth. We believe adopting a ward system will do just that. Therefore, after careful analysis, the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce has adopted a united stand opposing the proposal to adopt a ward system of government in the Town of Huntington,” he said.
For Information on the Proposal, see www.keephuntingtonwhole.com
About the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce
Incorporated in 1925 as a Chamber of Commerce in the Village of Huntington, the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business, industry, financial service, not-for-profit and other professionals within the greater Huntington area. Its mission is the promotion of business, economic development and job creation through the coordinated effort of its membership. The Chamber is dedicated to serving the needs of its members through government advocacy, networking, community development and education. For more information log onto: www.huntingtonchamber.com
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