We counted 250 people inside the Senior Center and many were forced (once again) to stand in the cold outside due to Harley Doles’ refusal to accept the School District’s offer to utilize one of the auditorium’s for board meetings.
To boil down the latest on the annexation issue, there is a definite dispute going on as to who will be “lead agency”. Lead agency is designated by the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) when there is a dispute over which party should have lead agency status.
The purpose for having an entity designated as lead agency is for the SEQRA review process. SEQRA stands for State Environmental Quality Review Act, and this act was created to ensure that a municipality, or in this case, a lead agency, take a HARD LOOK at all environmental and fiscal impacts of an action to be taken. The lead agency will be the determining body throughout this review and it’s crucial that they be unbiased.
Due to the lack of public trust for the current leadership of both the Town of Monroe and Kiryas Joel, this designation is important.
In the last Town Board meeting, the Town Board resolved to be co-lead agency with KJ.
Last night, however, Doles announced that a letter was sent from the petitioners in the annexation’s attorney stating that KJ should be lead agency and NOT the Town of Monroe OR the School District (who has requested to be granted lead agency as well).
Doles then stated that he wants the Attorney General’s office to play a role in ensuring that the annexation is done “perfectly” as he put it, and that the law is followed.
My opinion is that this entire plan, from the so called co-lead agency determination all the way to requesting the Attorney General’s office involvement was skillfully choreographed.
Regardless of lead agency, all can be sure that this annexation will be fought on all fronts. Do not lose hope.
Speaking of hope, Mike Anagnostakis, County Legislator for Newburgh and Montgomery, spoke for the people of Monroe and for the people of ALL of Orange County. He should be thanked for his support and for his passionate and informative speech at last night’s meeting. He informed the Board that the county simply can not afford an expansion of KJ. KJ uses more social welfare and services than a long list of Towns and cities in Orange county combined. Fiscally, Orange County can not afford an increase in population that would result from 507 more high density acreage.
Mayor Purcell spoke as well stating that the Town Board is not representing all of Monroe and he cited examples such as the movie theater situation as well as the Board’s unwillingness to work with the Village to consolidate services to save the taxpayer’s money.
Many others spoke passionately about numerous issues facing the Town. All were met with support and applause from the large crowd.
I’d like to end with my statement at the podium last night which aimed to put the Board on notice as well as to give you all some hope:
To the Town Board of Monroe:
I’m not here to ask questions because I understand you are quite incapable of answering truthfully.
I am here simply to say a few words on the record.
I want you to know, Town Board, that we, the public, will act using all legal means necessary to prevent this 507 acre annexation from happening.
We are creating a movement so large and so powerful, gaining national media attention and the notice of all elected officials in local, state and federal government which will expose the corruption and fraud taking place in Monroe on so many fronts.
We will not stop. We will stay and stand up for our school district. We will stand up for proper zoning. We will stand up for sustainability. We will stand up for the environment. We will stand up to prevent special interests from corrupting and buying elected officials. We will stand up for an end to corruption
We will no longer react to your petty decisions, but will simply act on behalf of the interests of our ever growing community with intellectualism, strength, peace and with the full knowledge that we shall overcome your attempts to oppress us and we will rise up stronger and with more and more resolve to protect Monroe and our way of life which is precious to us.
For photos visit our Facebook page Kiryas Joel Village
Please leave your comment below