I urge the voters of Monroe to go to the polls on election day and vote “Yes” to Proposition number 4 – KJ Separation. This proposal will separate the Village of Kiryas Joel from the Town of Monroe and create two independent municipalities – the Town of Palm Tree and the Town of Monroe. The key word for me is “independence."

I have lived in Monroe for more than 35 years and have raised three children in this wonderful town. We peacefully coexisted with Kiryas Joel for that time.

So, what has changed?

The population of KJ has soared to the point where their voters can and did begin to dominate our local elections. The 2013 election put into power candidates who represented the interests of KJ and no other part of the town.

The Town Board lost no time in beginning annexation procedures that resulted into the annexation of 164 acres of Monroe into the Village of Kiryas Joel.

But this is all history now. We cannot change the past, but we can certainly learn from it.

This proposal gives our hometown of Monroe a fighting chance for a bright future. It gives us political independence, so that our Town Board can actually represent the people of Monroe fairly. We can move forward on issues of conservation and economic development.

It solves the crucial issue of control of the M-W School District.

Most of the criticism I have read has been about what this proposal does not do.

No, it doesn’t address the rest of the county or some of the surrounding towns, other than Blooming Grove. For them, this proposal has no negative impact and in fact creates a stronger municipal partner to fight for issues that concern us all.

Let’s make Election Day our very own Independence Day. Vote “Yes” on separation.

Diane Egan

Monroe