Listen: Tompkins Legislature Candidate Keith Hannon on Housing, Living Wage

Categories Ithaca, Politics

Tompkins County legislature candidate Keith Hannon joined Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News on Tuesday, July 25, in studio at WRFI Community Radio to talk over the issues facing any prospective legislator elected in 2017.

The conversation occurred in the week before Hannon was removed from the ballot by the county Board of Elections. Read Josh Brokaw’s story on that development at the link.

Hannon, who says he’ll be collecting signatures to run as an independent, spoke about the debate over the South Street housing project in Trumansburg:

“Everybody knows we have a housing problem,” Hannon said. “What we can’t afford to do is have a problem with housing. That’s what we’re running into up in Trumansburg, and there are certainly some legitimate issues with this project, the proposal. We’ll wait for engineering studies to come back on it, make sure everything’s good – environmental impact, traffic studies, all that stuff has to happen. We saw a lot of apprehension with the Hancock Square development and we’re seeing resistance in Trumansburg now. I think what we have to do a better job of – there’s so many talented people working on the housing issue. I’m not going to step up here and pretend to know more than a lot of these people that have really devoted their lives to housing and planning. But what I would say is we really have to work on how we’re communicating housing to the neighborhoods that are going to be affected by development … I think all people involved, Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, does a good job of that. It’s just a hard thing, but the more we can get out in front and have intimate discussions with people before we throw these projects at them, the better we’re going to be.”

Hannon also talked about the living wage legislation the county legislature is being asked to consider, and on further alternatives to incarceration the county can consider in the wake of the jail study that said expansion of the Tompkins County jail isn’t necessary.

On living wage, Hannon said it will “keep more money local. If more people are making more money, they’re going to be more loyal to their work, they’re going to make more money so they can actually afford a home in Tompkins County and it means they’re going to spend their money in Tompkins County … I know it scares a lot of small businesses to talk about paying a living wage, ‘How am I going to pay this 16-year-old $15 an hour to make an ice cream cone?’ But we’re all in this together.”

Listen to the 14 minute-plus interview at the link at or in the embedded player below:

This Tuesday on WRFI News (6 p.m. at 88.1 FM Ithaca and 91.9 FM Watkins Glen) Josh Brokaw of TruthSayers News will interview Deborah Dawson, another candidate in this year’s Tompkins County legislature election. Candidates who haven’t yet scheduled an interview should email

Featured graphic by Caleb Thomas

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