Camp LaGuardia

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:35

    Editor’s note: These are comments Ralph Caruso presented to the Orange County Legislature on Aug. 5 at the beginning of session prior to its vote to extend OCSD#1 to include Camp La Guardia. There vote was 11 yes and 10 no: 10 Republicans yes, 1 Independence yes, 7 Democrats yes, 3 Republicans yes. A story about the Legislature’s vote appears on page 21. There are key primary reasons to vote no on the expansion of the OCSD#1 to serve the LaGuardia property. First, this decision has been driven by the County Executive who appears not be following our system of checks and balances. This deal is just another in a series of unilateral decisions made without consultation, discussion and full review by this Legislature, the Towns, Villages and the taxpayers who are most affected, and deserve to be kept in the loop. Your specific community may not appear to be immediately impacted by this Camp LaGuardia property, but there will be issues that do. There are too many private meetings where deals are cut and decisions made by a select few followed by an announcement of a need for immediate action to avoid some manufactured calamity. Whether it is settling a lawsuit without consultation, entering into a contract affecting your rights or expanding a sewer district, the time will come where you too will be roughshod over your right to consultation and you will be denied the right to a measured and diligent review. How many times can reasonable and legitimate questions be circumvented keeping you in the dark? Towns, Villages and taxpayers you represent deserve to be kept in the loop. They deserve to have any proposal go through the proper channels with adequate review and time to consider any proposal. It is now when a time-out is in order. This is not a make or break deal that must be done now. Do not let a false sense of urgency sway your vote. Your legislative district may not be in Harriman, but those hard working taxpayers have been dumped on enough. The stench from the sewer plant is so bad that they are being stunk out of their homes. The environmental study says the plant’s capacity won’t be reached for 5 years, hogwash. The plant is already at 85 percent of its capacity meaning expansion is just around the corner. No one is considering the units already built in Kiryas Joel and not yet on the system, and the 200 to 300 units built each year in KJ, totaling 1,500 units each five years. What about all the other towns and villages in the sewer district, with homes approved and not yet built added to the 907 at Camp LaGuardia pushes the sewer district way over the top. We were told by the county that the last sewer expansion would solve our problems. Not true. No extension to the OCSD#1 should occur until the Harriman plant is fixed. Finally, there are always alternative uses for the LaGuardia property that should be explored without a do or die attitude. However, as it stands now, you should vote no on behalf of the hardworking people of the county and refer this back to the committee for the purpose of rescinding the approval of the contract. Ralph Caruso, chairman Citizens for the Preservation of Woodbury