Equal Time: No, I don’t support a jetport, despite what Democrats say

I suppose I should be flattered that my Democratic opponents have chosen to spend their campaign funds on taking a full-page ad out against me in the Riverhead News-Review.

I hate to break it to them, but perhaps someone should have actually fact-checked the ad before paying for a full-page spread that spouts blatant lies about my positions and how I have voted, in hopes of underhandedly attracting a few votes their way. This type of conniving calculation is exactly why people loathe campaign season.

Lie #1: I voted ‘Yes’ to the qualified & eligible hearing for the potential sale of EPCAL to Luminati (‘CAT’).

Contrary to the incorrect allegations of this ad, I actually voted “no” to moving the Luminati deal at EPCAL forward and onto the stage of a qualified and eligible hearing. Had the Dems actually reviewed the minutes of the Dec. 19, 2017, Community Development Agency meeting, they would have been better informed before engaging in this type of feeble mudslinging.

Since they did not do their homework, I will do it for them and provide you all with actual facts:

On Dec. 19, 2017, in casting my vote regarding the qualified and eligible hearing stage of the potential EPCAL sale to Luminati (“CAT”), I said the following: “… so my request was to receive financial reimbursement from Luminati in this contract should that land be developable down the road. Luminati refused to do that. Based on that situation that’s extremely important to me and I think it’s extremely important to the town and I think with that I have to vote no to let this process go through.” (See the Dec. 19, 2017 CDA minutes.)

Lie #2: I am in favor of a cargo port/jetport at EPCAL.

Similarly, the Democratic committee’s salacious headline in their ad: “If Tim Hubbard has his way, you better buy ear plugs” goes further than to merely get your attention. It outright misstates my position with respect to the inclusion of a cargo port or jetport at the EPCAL property. To be clear, I have never been in favor of any such port at EPCAL, and I have no intention of changing my position on that in the future.

The misleading “quote” that the Democrats used in their ad was offered without any context of the conversation, whatsoever. During the July 2, 2019, Town Board meeting, I replied, “Absolutely yes, absolutely yes” with respect to a question from an EPCAL Watch member about whether a cargo airport could be included in the maps and drawings of the EPCAL property. I answered yes to this question, because the current zoning would allow for an accessory cargo port on the property. However, as I went on to state, the maps and drawings of EPCAL, as submitted to the DEC, had as much value as the piece of paper the civic activist was holding in his hand. I further indicated that the Town Board would still have the final say, before any such plan could move forward. (See RiverheadLocal article “Board Members Argue Over Meaning of ‘555 Calverton’ Maps Released by DEC” by Denise Civiletti, dated July 3, 2019. Also see the July 2 Town Board minutes.)

Answering a resident’s question based upon my understanding of the current zoning and permissible use of EPCAL is not tantamount to my support for the building of a cargo port at EPCAL.

Once again, had the Democrats behind this egregious political ad done their research, read the entirety of the July 3, 2019, RiverheadLocal article, as well as the actual minutes of the July 2 Town Board meeting, they perhaps would have thought better than to defame me in a political print ad.

I do not know whether the individuals behind this ad knew the truth and chose to knowingly mislead the Riverhead residents, or whether they just assumed that the voters would not educate themselves and take the time to research the candidates before casting their votes this November, but either way their chosen path is reckless and inexcusable, not to mention offensive to all of our collective sensibilities.

When ‘Transparency’ is Anything But

It is unfortunate that my opponents will go to such pitiful lengths to mislead the voters of Riverhead, but sadly, I am not surprised. While the notion of a “more transparent” Town Hall has been touted by Democratic leadership and the current Democratic supervisor and councilwoman, anyone working within Town Hall knows that it has been anything but.

Secret meetings are being called, amendments to the Town Code are being drafted without being brought to the attention of the town attorney or our senior town code enforcement officer. All of this is being done for optics, manipulation and political gain on the eve of an election, and not for the benefit of the town’s residents.

That is not why I ran for office in 2015, and that is certainly not why I am running for reelection today. I love my job. I love working for the people of Riverhead. I do not enjoy the political strategy and scheming that occurs within Town Hall under the current leadership, or the fact that the only Democratic councilwoman is being used as a party puppeteer to make personal jabs in public forums.

This is not what I signed up for. This is not what Riverhead deserves.

The value and greatness of our town starts at the top. Leading with pettiness and with a goal of personal political gain only highlights the insecurity of my opponents’ flawed positions.

I apologize for the lengthy post, but I do feel it is necessary to spread the truth instead of lies, and to remark that just because the leadership says they are operating a “transparent” local government does not make it so. Do your homework, and vote for members of the Town Board that you feel will best serve Riverhead, rather than themselves.

Top photo caption: A screenshot of the top of the ad that ran in the Oct. 17 News-Review.

Mr. Hubbard is a Republican Riverhead Town councilman who is seeking his second four-year term in November’s election.