Affordable Housing, Opportunities & Obstacles – Peter J. Elkowitz, Jr., President & CEO, Long Island Housing Partnership

Mr. Elkowitz has been with the Long Island Housing Partnership since 1989. Mr. Elkowitz is responsible for the overall operation of Long Island Housing Partnership and its Affiliates. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Policy Analysis and Public Management. In June 2002, Mr. Elkowitz completed the Senior Executives Program in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He also received the Harry Weiner Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the Governor’s award for Excellence in Housing in 1994. He is a member of the 2007 Class of The Energeia Partnership – The Academy for Regional Stewardship at Molloy College. Currently, he serves on the board of New York Housing Conference, Inc. Mr. Elkowitz served as Chair to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Advisory Council and was a former member of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. Mr. Elkowitz now serves on the Board for The National Community Land Trust Network dba Grounded Solutions Network and on the Board of Empire Justice Center. Mr. Elkowitz was honored as top CFO and 2016 was honored as top CEO by the Long Island Business News.

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta

On Friday 13th we had as our guest speaker Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta. Mr. Trotta was quite direct in his opinions of the local government.

He was critical of the way we are paying dearly for our police department in the county. He does not approve policeman earning $200k or $250k per year. He does not approve of the payout practices of the police department at retirement that can be in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lump sum in addition to a generous pension.

Of course the payouts are legal because they are in the union contracts and the contracts are approved by the legislating body of which he is a member.
Here is Trotta’s bone of contention. If the unions are allowed to donate to the campaign war chests of the legislators, how can we be sure that they, the legislators, are acting in the public interest?
Trotta’s approach is that if any funds are provided to a legislator, than that legislator must recuse himself on votes on pay increases. The bill to enforce such a rule has been consistently rejected
Despite these criticisms he was otherwise complimentary of the police in terms of competence.

Another issue that he addressed was the ¼% tax on the sewer district that has been paid off, but still collected to pay for other things. For this a few other things he referred to County Executive Bellone as corrupt.
One of those things were the scandal involving District attorney Spota, who, by the way, was sentenced to 5 years in prison last week. Bellone, according to Mr. Trotta, was in cahoots with the principals of that scandal, Thomas Spota, and Christopher McPartland, who conspired to protect James Burke, who was earlier sentenced to 4 years in prison for beating a prisoner.

Trotta did not dodge and weave, he answered the questions according to his knowledge and perceptions.