STOP: Harley Doles and KJ leader’s annexation fraud

The situation in Monroe is not ‘hopeless’ or ‘unwinnable’

The Photo News: Published Jan 17, 2014 at 11:06 am (Updated Jan 17, 2014)

I would like to clear up confusion regarding the proposed Kiryas Joel annexation: Kiryas Joel filed a petition requesting to annex 510 acres of land from the Town of Monroe into Kiryas Joel.

What Supervisor Doles would like you to believe is that the Village of Kiryas Joel will be forming their own Town or City. Doles has even sent a letter to Mayor Wieder expressing his support of this idea. The Village of Kiryas Joel leaders, despite having been called by several news agencies (The Times Herald Record, The Photo News, News 12) have not responded to comment on any of these matters.

A process to form a new town or city for Kiryas Joel would take many years, if it happens at all. There are also numerous questions as to whether or not a standalone entity could exist legally without violating the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, thus making the request for Kiryas Joel’s separation a legal quagmire that will take a lifetime to untangle at worst, and little more than a smoke screen by Supervisor Doles at best.

In order for a Village to separate from their town and form a new one, KJ must file documentation with the State to do so. This has not happened. So, all we have to go on here is an elaborate letter crafted by Supervisor Doles where he states that “in order to close the gap we must create one,” whatever that means.

Supervisor Doles, with the help of KJ leadership, in order to soften the blow of the news of KJ’s annexation request, decided to broach the subject of separation in order to confuse the public into thinking that the two issues are the same. They’re not. Why would KJ need to separate and form their own town when Supervisor Doles and his friends on the Town Board are already working for Kiryas Joel and will swiftly push through this annexation request?

You, my fellow Monroe citizens, are being duped.

The words “divisive” and “division” have been coming up a lot lately from our opponents. I’d like to address the use of these words. This past election was only divisive because of the tactics of the newly elected town supervisor and the previous one, who alternately accused United Monroe of being anti-Semitic in an effort to gain KJ’s support. My concern is that this incessant propaganda stuffed into mailboxes did in fact keep people from the polls on election day.

The fact is, United Monroe wanted to represent all people of Monroe fairly. We believe strongly in adhering to the words inscribed in our 14th Amendment,”No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

The difference between United Monroe and our opponents is that our town board works solely for a special interest group within our community. Specifically, the current KJ leadership. This small group, who has no interest in improving the quality of life for ALL of the citizens in our community, only work to further their own interests. What could be more divisive than that?

Through no action, request, or urging by the citizens of Monroe, the leadership of KJ insist that their citizens do not mingle with those outside of their culture. This creates a divide that we cannot bridge. This is not a result of hate or anti-Semitism or divisiveness on the part of the good people of Monroe. This is a result of a special interest group electing politicians by corrupting the democratic process and showing disregard for the lifestyle and interests of their neighbors. This past election was a clear indication of the inequality, corruption and obvious deal KJ leadership made with our elected officials to annex the 510 acres of land in question.

We have the power to take a stand for Monroe. In the coming weeks we will be taking action, but we need you to stand with us. United Monroe and Save the Theater are not giving up the fight and neither should you. This is not a “hopeless” or “unwinnable” situation Monroe faces. We can win, but we have to stand together with a common goal of rooting out corruption wherever we may find it, and ensuring equal treatment under the law for all.

Emily Convers

The Photo News

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  1. Protesters against Kiryas Joel’s land proposal rally in Monroe

    MONROE – Dozens of protesters worried about the Village of Kiryas Joel’s proposed land deal attended a rally in Monroe Sunday afternoon.

    The group picketed for several hours today at the intersection of Route 17M and Still Road.

    They are fighting against a request made by the Hasidic community to take over 500 acres of land from Monroe.


      • Monroe protest targets Kiryas Joel annexation (PHOTOS)
        Group seeking legal representation

        By Gittel Evangelist
        Times Herald-Record
        Published: 2:00 AM – 01/20/14
        Last updated: 8:12 AM – 01/20/14

        MONROE — Standing 50 strong in the biting 25-degree weather, opponents came out Sunday morning to denounce the proposed annexation of Monroe lands by the Village of Kiryas Joel.

        Their message was clear: “No annexation without representation,” Monroe Mayor James Purcell said.

        “We’re here today because all the residents of Monroe are not being listened to properly by the Town Board,” Purcell said, standing at the intersection of Route 17M and Still Road, where groups of protesters lined the four corners of the busy thoroughfare. Passing drivers honked and waved their support.

        Spearheading the protest was United Monroe leader Emily Convers, who lost her bid for Monroe supervisor to Harley Doles in November. Despite Convers’ strong campaign and record turnout at the polls, Doles claimed virtually all of his winning votes in Kiryas Joel.

        A group of Kiryas Joel landowners submitted a petition Dec. 27 to annex 510 acres of residential properties into their village from the Town of Monroe. Five days after the filing, on Doles’ first day in office, the new supervisor proposed detaching from Monroe the very village that had just elected him.

        In a Jan. 1 letter to Kiryas Joel Mayor Abraham Wieder, Doles suggested the village form its own town or city because of the “deep divide that exists in the Town of Monroe.” (As far back as 2004, Kiryas Joel’s leaders had researched the legal steps for separating their village from the rest of Monroe while greatly expanding it.)

        Convers on Sunday called Doles “delusional” in his assumption he could trade away land as part of the municipal separation proposal. She said Doles’ letter was “a manipulation of the public and part of a grand plan: votes for land.”

        “To some degree it has worked,” she said. “People are definitely confused.”

        Doles could not be reached for comment Sunday.

        The Town Board has called for a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Monroe Senior Center on Mine Road, “to conduct town business and with anticipation of entering into an executive session to discuss a particular person or persons in regard to Supervisor’s Office,” according to the town’s website. The board’s regular session will follow at 7:30.

        “The public is urged to attend,” Purcell said. “We need to be heard.”

        United Monroe is planning a fundraiser from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at The Captain’s Table in Monroe to raise money for legal representation, Convers said. She said the group is looking into forming a political action committee and already has spoken to four lawyers, in Orange County and New York City.

        “There’s no shortage of help,” she said.


  2. I think that United Monroe is great but I do think that you need to be a little more aggressive with your fight, of course not in a regressive or violent way. You can not just take people’s land. After all haven’t we learned anything from the American Indians.

    The one think that KJ has always wanted was to keep their population separate, as you can see by the signs as you enter their community. They only want to become separate now because they do not want people, media to expose them for their shady, behavior.

    What the general population needs to let them know that if they try to annex their land we will be join their community. We will come and walk their sidewalks, eat and visit their restaurants, bring our kids and join in their community. Instead of rallying by McDonalds, rally in KJ. Get some attention. They are scrambling because they are threatened by the possible exposure


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