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Consultant On Knights Of Columbus Building Calls For Transparency, Community Input

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Alana Smith, Principal of Calyx Development Corporation, Sends Letter To Supervisor Howard Phillips Expressing Concern Over Derailed Affordable Housing Project And Public Support To Religious Organization

Editor’s Note: On May 21, 2024, RCBJ reported on the Knights Of Columbus Plan To Forego $2.4 Million Sale Of Property And Donate Building To Town Of Haverstraw.

Mr. Howard T. Phillips, Supervisor
Town of Haverstraw
1 Rosman Road
Garnerville, NY 10923

June 11, 2024

Re: 56 West Broad Street, Haverstraw

Dear Supervisor Phillips,

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the recent developments related to the property at 56 West Broad Street in Haverstraw. As a principal of Calyx Development Corporation and a consultant to Kings Katherine LLC, I was closely involved in the negotiations and discussions surrounding the acquisition of this property. It has come to my attention that the Knights of Columbus (KoC) have made the decision to donate the property at 56 West Broad Street to the Town of Haverstraw. This decision has raised several alarming issues that I believe require careful consideration and transparent dialogue with the community.

First and foremost, the lack of transparency in the KoC’s actions regarding the property is deeply troubling. The decision to bypass our confidentiality provision and share confidential third-party reports with the Town of Haverstraw without due consultation or regard for prior negotiations is both concerning and unexpected, particularly from an organization with a long-standing presence in the community. We would have assumed that Town counsel would have intervened to ensure these legal considerations when in discussion with KoC. Furthermore, the implications of the town’s agreement with a religious nonprofit are raising serious questions regarding potential conflicts of interest and the broader impact on the community. It is essential to understand the motivation behind the town’s decision to support the KoC financially, as well as the long-term implications of removing 56 West Broad Street from the property tax roll, affecting the Village, Town, and School District. Additionally, the involvement of Deputy Mayor Carlevaro, a KoC board member, in these discussions and negotiations without recusal or appropriate advisory measures raises ethical concerns.

With deep personal and blossoming professional ties to the Village, I am deeply troubled by the lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest in these proceedings. The unmatched potential of the Village to become a thriving, conscientiously developed urban area cannot be overlooked. The positive economic impact of implementing evidence-based planning strategies in the Village has high potential to be transformative, benefiting local families and shaping the outcomes of generations to come. It is my sincere hope that the Town of Haverstraw will embrace this potential and work towards the betterment of the community through transparent and inclusive decision-making processes. In light of these concerns, I urge the Town of Haverstraw to provide the community with the opportunity to engage in the dialogue surrounding the proposed agreement with the Knights of Columbus.

It is imperative that taxpayers are informed of the negotiations and have the opportunity to share their perspectives on this significant matter.

I am committed to an open and constructive dialogue that prioritizes the best interests of the Village and its residents. I look forward to the opportunity to engage with you and other relevant stakeholders in addressing these critical concerns and working towards the common goal of a vibrant and thriving Haverstraw.


Alana Smith, PhD
Calyx Development Corporation