Is Underhill Farms Hiring Politicians Above Board?

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It’s not just about Unicorn Contracting building megadevelopments, traffic or progress versus preservation arguments. It’s much simpler. It’s about fairness.

Unicorn hired influential former Yorktown supervisor Michael Grace (a candidate for lieutenant governor) and former state senator Terrence Murphy (a Republican regional director) whose politics have favored Unicorn’s developments. If the Underhill Farms development plans were so good why the need to hire so much political muscle? Is having political clout and knowing how to use it at Town Hall a job requirement? What do you get when you hire politicians? After all, the currency of politics is access, favors and influence.

I feel sorry for the chances of any unlucky developers who can’t afford to hire former politicians who know the ropes. It’s like a company hiring an outgoing congressman as a lobbyist after they passed legislation favorable to that business. It’s wrong when it happens in Washington and it’s equally wrong when it happens in Yorktown.

Yorktown (with the help of tax abatements and overlay redistricting) is being carved up into big development chunks. Has lobbying Town Hall on behalf of multimillion-dollar developers created a lucrative cottage industry for a select few professional politicians in between election cycles? 

Stephen Brown

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