The N.Y. state capitol building in Albany. Photo: Wikipedia/Matt Wade

This was an error a freshman town board member new to the legislative process and townwide leadership makes.

This was not an error a multiple-term member of the board currently seeking a promotion to the New York State Assembly should have made.

This error is, however, instructive.

Jodi Giglio’s proposal to require a new certificate of occupancy for all future home sales in the Town of Riverhead was poorly reasoned, would have put homeowners in Town at a palpable disadvantage in selling their homes in an economically difficult time and ultimately would not have solved the issue at hand.

The nearly immediate withdrawal of the legislation demonstrates just how wrong headed the bill was.

Bad legislation happens.

The issue is not that Ms. Giglio (who in an ironic twist has a problematic past with certifcates of occupancy on her own home) advanced an awful idea, it is her failure to conduct any of the due diligence needed to make this legislative proposal.

She did not do her homework.

She did not research the age of the housing stock here, the resultant lack of COs for many structures or the number of transfers the bill would effect. These are all key points of information to review before ever advancing this legislation.

She also did not seek a diversity of opinion from stakeholders in Town who would have been directly impacted by the legislation, but instead relied on a single source from a neighboring (much smaller, better financially positioned) municipality to assemble the legislation.

For Ms. Giglio, who has personal and business contacts in both the construction and real estate business, this borders on legislative malpractice.

Finally, requiring taxpaying homeowners to obtain an updated CO would not have solved the school overcrowding problem it was advanced to resolve.

Given Ms. Giglio’s previous statements and actions in regards to the overcrowding issue, it appears to be more of a stab in the legislative dark with ulterior, nefarious motives.

In the end, this is “Lawmaking 101”: identify the issue, do your research, seek a diversity of opinions from stakeholders, craft the bill and then move it forward into the public realm.

With this bill, Ms. Giglio failed the course and the voters in NYS Assembly District 1 must deny Jodi Giglio the promotion she is seeking.

We cannot afford someone in Albany who after years on the Riverhead Town Board still does not grasp the lawmaking process and who takes her legislative cues from Facebook comments.

Steven Kramer is a poet, writer and political activist. He is a lead member of Indivisible North Fork. He lives in Riverhead. 


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