A Huntington Station Resident Hoping For Change
My name is Caroline Potter. My husband Curt and I live in smack in the middle of Huntington Station on Winding Street. You may know us as The Potters. We might have stood on the same or opposite sides of the fence during the many battles we have all fought with the hope of bettering the Station and the town of Huntington as a whole. Today, I’m done choosing sides. Tomorrow, I’m choosing change. And, I’m asking you to, as well.
My husband and I moved into our home in 2003. We knew the Station needed help, but we felt it was ripe for a renaissance. We attended some of the very first revitalization meetings and felt certain that the house, a two-minute walk to the LIRR, across the street from a school bustling with activity, and rich with history of longtime residents and a generous yard, was a smart bet.
It was, tragically, not. The neighborhood we saw as poised for a turnaround has been run right into the ground. More illegal housing. Trash everywhere. Drunk men harassing residents. Massive outdoor parties that drown out peace and quiet with ear-shattering music and send intoxicated partygoers spilling out onto our streets looking for trouble – and often finding it. And, then there are the shootings. Too many to count anymore. Too many to fight about whether they constitute closing a school or not. It is closed and, were it not already, it probably would have been after the most recent shooting on October 8th in which a man was shot repeatedly while walking next to Jack Abrams Intermediate School.
Now, I live in fear. Why? I guess it’s because I live in a town that repeatedly rewards the folks who flout the law and punishes the people who are trying to make Huntington Station a better place. Since the shooting that closed the school – and the most recent shooting less than a month ago – the Town Board has failed to execute any plan that will bring any tangible relief to an area crying out for help. I keep hearing how the Town cannot inspect certain houses that are obviously illegal dwellings, but I wonder, then, why my single-family home occupied solely by my husband and I (two cars out front, one meter on the side of the house, zero satellite dishes) has been inspected for illegal apartments TWICE since we’ve lived here without any probable cause whatsoever.
I do not believe that the people who are up for re-election are bad people. Rather, I think they are good people who are doing a bad job. At least one claims to work full time on a part-time job. Note to your campaign manager: Putting in twice as much work and still coming up terribly short actually doesn’t inspire voter confidence.
Many of you are tied to voting within party lines, afraid to vote for a Republican or – Gasp! – a man. This is not about gender. This is not about political affiliations. This is about stopping a cycle of failure that has existed for as long as I have lived here and won’t end without some kind of change.
On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a favorite television of program of mine (Yes, I’m a geek!), the town of Sunnydale is thrown into an alternate reality, one in which the bad guys are in charge and life is hopeless and bleak. Giles (Rupert, not Pat) seizes an opportunity to send himself and his friends into another unknown reality. Someone asks him, “How do you know the other world is any better than this?” And he answers, “Because it has to be.”
I’m voting for Eugene Cook and Herb Morrow. How do I know a different town board will be any better than this one? Because it has to be.