My Turn by Nancy Proyect Citizen's Foundation: Creating a new town will require compromise and informed decision-making

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It is encouraging that United Monroe and the Village of Kiryas Joel have begun a constructive discussion about managing growth in the Town of Monroe and its villages. After years of costly litigation that hasn’t resulted in meaningful compromise or thoughtful decision-making, it’s a welcome relief and a shift to recognition that communities change and grow.

The issues surrounding annexation and the creation of a new town, however, are complex, precedent-setting and long-lasting. They go beyond finding a workable compromise between two conflicting parties.

• A new town hasn’t been created in New York since the 1950s.

Let’s find out why.

• Additionally, at a time when our state government is strongly encouraging local governments to consolidate and share services, creating a new municipality goes against the grain.

What are the advantages and consequences to taking this action?

Besides solving the boundary/land acquisition issues, other questions remain:

• How will we manage our limited resources like water;

• What will the financial outlook be for each municipality; and

• What will the impact be on our county supplying services like wastewater management, social and health-related services to these municipalities?

These questions, and many others, should be addressed thoroughly before the Orange County Legislature, and then the residents of Monroe, vote.

The Citizens Foundation wholeheartedly supports compromise and informed decision-making.

Let’s not do one without the other. We urge the Legislature and Monroe residents to study this issue in-depth before placing it on a ballot.

Once properly explored, the decision to support this compromise might be the best solution, but how will we really know if we don’t do the research?

Nancy Proyect is president of the Orange County Citizens Foundation.

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