Meeting Notes from May 22 Council Meeting at PTAK

From Guest Blogger: J Sommers

Last night, we got more of the sit-and-wait-since-we-are-powerless-but-oh-so-hopeful attitude regarding house lifting grants from the evil FEMA empire, V/AE zones change decisions from wise politicians, thoughtful reductions in our insurance premiums by kind-hearted insurance companies and  donations from scores of private developers lining up to lift the entire town. That and the Brooklyn Bridge will be extended to Highlands.

The Council got together with the Zoning Committee and the Planning Board to discuss how to unravel their brilliant decision from last year to convert half of downtown to mixed use (I suspect heavily supported by the town’s business gurus) thereby precluding all significantly damaged homeowners of single residences in that area from being able to rebuild to get back into their homes and from being eligible for any grants due to nonconformity! Way to go guys! One of the last brilliant ideas of the night was to allow each homeowner to get in front of the zoning board to ask for a variance because of course we want to provide as many incentives as possible for the non-existent businesses that have no intentions to set up shop in Highlands over the needs of the residents who are holding on to the hope that there’s hope for Highlands.

In other unconfirmed news, it appears that HBP engaged a marketing person to do PR for the town in order to entice developers to come in and what better way to give Highlands its 15 minutes of fame than to play up the one idea that the mayor has latched on to lift the town. It would be interesting to see all those amazing presentations sent from as far away as Japan firsthand and to see whether anyone explored anything beyond filling my 1st floor with sand!

Speaking of outlandish ideas, a call to action to put pressure on OEM, politicians, FEMA and anyone else involved in the process to permit retroactive application of grants to lift homes has been dismissed notwithstanding the fact it would save taxpayers, insurance and the feds money in the long run. To quote the mayor, “We don’t want to publicly embarrass our senators”! Really?


  1. I think the new PR person is a good friend of Carla’s. That is what I have heard. We should call that position “minister of propeganda”! Because ultimately that is what it is.

    As far as all the far fetched plans to fix flooding etc. It still comes down to where the money is coming from. See my other posts on other subjects here. It makes no sense to lift the town with the present structures being intact. its that simple.

    It is my belief that the “plan” which could probably be referred to as the “evil plan” will be to make life so hard for anyone wanting to rebuild and stay, so that they will throw up their hands and want any way to get out of town even if it means selling their properties for a loss etc.

    Then any kind of vultures such as predatory developers can come into town and pick up these properties for a song.

    Redeveloping the town is a great idea, however I believe the plan to do it may be very underhanded and will hurt people that are already down and out already.

    Once again, this is all about the politics, people making themselves look important and in charge. This governing body has a long and documented history now of giving lip service to the masses, telling them what they want to hear, then deciding behind closed doors to do whatever they want, regardless of what anyone else thinks.


  2. So far, the only things that have popped up in Google Alerts were the two “Let’s raise Highlands” spots, one on WNYC/NPR and another on WNBC (PLEASE MAKE THESE STOP!!!), and a bizarre link to the Hope for Highlands application.

    Yep, sounds like a Carla thing…


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