Preservation of open space is essential to maintaining our quality of life in Suffolk County. Land development is also important to meet the needs of our growing population. I think that through careful, thoughtful planning a healthy balance of the two can be achieved. Tax consequences must also be taken into consideration. Currently there is a ballot initiative proposed for this November to extend the cent sales tax to the year 2030. Part of this revenue would be allocated for land preservation. If approved, the County would be authorized to borrow $378 million against sales tax revenues to purchase open space, most of which is located in Brookhaven Town and on the east end. However noble this endeavor may be, it would cost the taxpayers $188 million in interest and debt related costs. This is certainly something to think about.

As residents of the Kings Park area, our most immediate concern is the site of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center. Careful consideration should be given to balancing land preservation, land development and the cost to taxpayers