Featured Letter: People should be held accountable for CPF mess


To the Editor:

I have read with concern the stories about how the drop in Peconic real estate transfer tax (Community Preservation Fund) revenues is causing a shortfall in paying bonds used to buy farmland transfer development rights and open space.

It seems that years ago the bonds were predicated on the tax revenues continuing at the top of the real estate bubble. Now that the bubble has burst, our town government is looking to quick fixes — and possibly Riverhead taxpayers — to fix the budget hole.

I do not understand why no one is looking to any of the financial advisers who profited off of the bond deal to have them fix the problem they caused, if indeed the town looked elsewhere on advice on whether or not to enact this program.

If the call was made in-house, then those people in the town should be removed from making financial decisions. It would have been a matter of common sense that any borrowing and bond payments be based on, at most, an average of tax revenues over several years. An even safer number would have based the bond issuance on the prior low point of those revenues. This failure has a deep financial cost to us.

If any outside financial professionals could be considered liable for past, self-serving advice, then we need to seek legal remedies against them.

Ian Wilder, Riverhead