Orange County Legislature Chairman Steven Brescia recently stated that he wants to meet with Monroe and Kiryas Joel leaders to find “middle ground” on the formation of the proposed Town of North Monroe.
Chairman Brescia’s meeting would include County Legislators, two Monroe Councilmen,and Kiryas Joel’s appointed Village Administrator, Gedalye Szegedin.
Mr. Brescia rejected the requests of leaders of the citizen’s group United Monroe and the non-profit organization Preserve Hudson Valley to participate in the meeting, without reason.
The issues of Kiryas Joel annexation and the proposed Town of North Monroe are inextricably intertwined.
The former is tied up in a court appeal.
The latter is a “Plan B” designed to circumvent the lengthy court process that currently involves the county, several municipalities and Preserve Hudson Valley.
Any attempt to mediate a “middle ground” should be called what it is – a negotiation for an out-of-court settlement.
Mr. Brescia’s objective of finding “broadly acceptable” terms for a new town cannot be achieved without the participation of all parties involved in the annexation lawsuits. This includes the leaders of Preserve Hudson Valley.
United Monroe leaders mobilized more than six thousand voters in three consecutive Monroe Town elections, and more than 9,000 voters in the 2014 NYS Assembly race. They deserve a seat at Mr. Brescia’s proposed negotiation.
They are the direct representatives of the people who contributed thousands of dollars to fund the citizens side of the Kiryas Joel annexation litigation.
To leave them out of this process gives the appearance of unfair election year dealing between our county leadership and the Kiryas Joel government.
John Allegro is a member of United Monroe’s Executive Committee and a founding board member of the non-profit Preserve Hudson Valley.