Mamaroneck Village trustee refutes call to recuse himself in affordable housing vote

A proposal to build affordable housing in place of the current Hunter Tier parking lot is gaining traction. Two different developers have submitted plans. One of those developers is West Hab.

Emily Young

Mar 25, 2024, 9:27 PM

Updated 21 days ago

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The Mamaroneck Village Board of Ethics says a village trustee should recuse himself from voting on an affordable housing project because of a conflict of interests.
A proposal to build affordable housing in place of the current Hunter Tier parking lot is gaining traction. Two different developers have submitted plans. One of those developers is West Hab.
West Hab is also the landlord of the apartment that trustee Emanuel Rawlings was raised in. Currently, it’s the apartment where his mother owes $24,000 in unpaid rent. Last year, the developer filed a petition of nonpayment and began the process of eviction.
"We asked the ethics committee to look into Manny who had a direct conflict. They ruled he should recuse himself because of his relationship with West Hab. That's a major conflict," said resident Mark Wachsberg.
The Ethics Board issued an opinion that Rawling's participation in voting on this project would "give the reasonable appearance of a conflict of interest."
But the board also found that there is no judgement outstanding against Emanuel Rawlings, no collection case has been brought against him, and there is no open action regarding the petition.
"Every document that is out there, states that I am not in the judgment,” he said. “I’m not someone who owes any dollar amount," Rawlings said. "There is nothing against Emanuel Rawlings. But because I have a parent who struggled, it appears I should recuse."
He says there's no back door deal between him and West Hab. Public meetings and hearings on the matter are expected to continue through the spring.


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