Rater doesn’t get it

To the Editor:

I am rather surprised that I must defend myself as it relates to Brian Rater’s inaccurate claims about past town of Brookline grants.

He is representing that I took steps to hurt the town. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

First, he makes representations that the people who live on Route 130 were overwhelmingly in support of the “mixed use ordinance”. In reality, 90 percent of the people who live in the town center, who were going to be impacted the most, rejected the plan. Additionally, there was no provisions for increased traffic, parking and impact on septic systems in the area.

Second, the Community Planning grant, issued through the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority states in paragraph seven that the town agrees to “be governed by federal laws, regulations and rules outlined by HUD” (Housing and Urban Development). There are thousands of laws, regulations and rules from HUD. I don’t know them all and I know that Town Counsel doesn’t either.

Brian Rater refers people to a Youtube.com video. Let me refer people to a Youtube.com video showing a community affected by the devastating impacts of HUD laws, regulations and rules, Westchester County/HUD. HUD is suing this New York county and forcing the county to build about a billion dollars worth of housing. The county must build these, not a developer. According to the video, Westchester County’s tax rate will increase more than 200 percent.

Third, when the executive director of the New Hampshire Housing Finance came out and stated that there were “strings” attached to this grant money, Alton, Goffstown and Salem has rejected it. Rindge and Litchfield are considering returning the money and other towns are following their example. This has caused so many issues, there are a number of bills in Concord to stop them.

Finally, my concern is that Mr. Rater is on the town Finance Committee. He repeatedly doesn’t understand the financial impact HUD could have on Brookline if we took this money and they claimed we must comply with a vague rule or regulation.

With our taxes going up and his continued push to expose Brookline to unnecessary financial demands, how can he be a good steward of the taxpayers?

JACK FLANAGAN

State Representative Brookline