From United Monroe:
Meeting Synopsis, Town Board meeting– Monday, January 6th: The house was packed with people. Well over 150 people attended tonight’s fascinating meeting. All 4 board members were in attendance. Newly appointed full-time Comptroller, Peter Martin sat along with the Board as did the newly appointed Town Attorney who may be a temporary addition.
The Board announced appointments to the various positions. Most notably were the addition of Dan Burke’s partner Elisa Tutini whose term was up on the Zoning Board so she was immediately reappointed to the Planning Board.
She is already a Town Employee who runs the Dial-A-Bus. The first of a few surprises was when Rick Colon took a stand against his fellow Board members on the issue of appointing Peter Martin as full-time Comptroller. Colon expressed an interest in looking at other qualified candidates as well. The crowd erupted in applause for Colon’s stand since it has been this Board’s habit to quickly appoint friends and cronies without vetting any other viable applicants, or even going through an application process at all. The Board knocked down Rick’s opinion and voted against him to appoint former Town Board member Peter Martin as full-time comptroller.
The subject of naming a candidate to fill the vacant seat on the Town Board arose but was tabled. Rick Colon, more than once, stressed that it is important for the Board to consider ALL possible candidates and to try to repair the divide in our community. Again, Rick Colon earned applause for this comment. The other Board members had little to say.
Harley Doles brought up the annexation petition which was filed by a group of citizens of KJ requesting to annex 510 acres of land from the Town of Monroe into KJ. Doles wished to table the discussion, even though the clock is ticking since the Board must respond within a certain period from the date that the petition was filed. Our records show that the petition for annexation was filed on November 27th of 2013. Doles wished to delay the response until the “Blue Ribbon Committee” was established which he states will be created to negotiate and aid the Village of Kiryas Joel in becoming their own Town. Doles immediately wanted to move to appoint Councilman McQuade to Chair the brand new Blue Ribbon committee. The room erupted in “Boo’s”. Rick Colon, who was on fire tonight, frankly, again spoke out against this decision. He stated that this was all too fast, sharing that he had just learned of all of this himself having read Harley’s letter and article just 2 days ago. He suggested that a neutral person be appointed to chair this committee and that a decision should not be made right away. Rick Colon then acknowledged that Assemblyman Skoufis, someone Harley Doles had invited to join this committee, was in the audience and Colon asked him to say a few words. Assemblyman Skoufis sat at the table and eloquently, articulately and with much grace stated that despite Monroe citizens not being part of his constituency, he would be happy to join such a committee as he believes a separation would be beneficial but if annexation of the 510 acres of land into KJ is a stipulation then this would be a “non starter” for him. He said that the creation of a Town for Kiryas Joel should stand on its own merits. He also stated that this committee should include a member of United Monroe as well as members of both the main faction and dissident groups of Kiryas Joel. The room erupted in applause for Assemblyman Skoufis’ straightforward statements.
Gerry McQuade could not allow Skoufis to have the last word on the subject and proceeded on a ramble as only Gerry can, which I won’t even try to describe.
The Board muddled through the meeting clumsily. Harley Doles barely looked up from his laptop or paper.
When Doles decided that he was going to self indulgently read his letter to Mayor Wieder of KJ regarding his suggestion for separation the crowd moaned. Doles stated that, due to the crowd’s response, we would take a 5 minutes recess and resume.
After the recess, Doles began to read his letter which I would appreciate someone posting on this page for all to see. The letter was your typical “dog and pony show” a la delusional Doles. You see, Doles would like all of us to think that he is initiating this separation. Truth is, the election did that. KJ saw that we created a bloc vote and saw the impact of this movement. The writing is on the wall. The people of Monroe woke up and are continuing to wake up to the corruption. Doles didn’t need to send Mayor Wieder a letter. Mayor Wieder and other KJ officials had already decided to separate and had filed the petition to annex land on November 27th. Just a few weeks after the election. So, why is Doles claiming to be the initiator of this move to separate KJ? Because after KJ forms their own town he will be out of a job. KJ won’t be part of Monroe to re-elect him in 4 years.
The questions now are, will KJ form their own town without being able to annex 510 acres? How will annexing acres of land from Monroe into KJ really hurt us? Where is the land that KJ wants to annex? How much money will the school system be losing? How much potential commercial tax revenue will be lost? These are all questions that need to be answered. United Monroe wishes to be at the table when these matters are discussed. Thanks to Rick Colon for standing up for what is right this evening and thanks to James Skoufis for his tireless concern for not only his own constituents, but for the community at large. Also, thank you to Mayor James Purcell, Legislator Myrna Kemnitz, Mayor Steve Welle and Trustee Chichester for attending tonight’s meeting. Your involvement and care for your community is appreciated. And thanks to ALL of the citizens of Monroe who showed up tonight. Stay tuned- we will be holding a large scale meeting soon and will be holding a fundraiser at the end of January.
For photos visit our Facebook page Kiryas Joel Village
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