Harley Doles: Emergency meetings and irrational ramblings.

Harley Doles

Harley Doles: Emergency meetings and irrational ramblings.

Monroe residents have grown accustomed to hearing the incoherent ramblings of Town Supervisor Harley Doles. But one needs to wonder whether he’s mentally unhinged, or if he is criminally devious in his actions. After yet another emergency Town Board meeting in the middle of the day during the week, we suggest it’s a bit of both.

Harley Doles announced he would convene an “emergency meeting” on Tuesday, October 27th — something he has now done more than any supervisor in Town history, and only halfway through his term of office — to discuss one basic topic:

Dogs.

Harley DolesNamely, “the Monroe Dog Shelter – equipment needs, operation, discussion” and “Dog Control Officers”, along with a possibility the meeting would adjourn to Executive Session and/or Attorney/client discussion. The oddly timed meetings began soon after he assumed office in 2014, and generally coincide with times when only Doles, Gerard McQuade and Dan Burke can be in attendance. The set of three (3) council members justifies a quorum, and it was during such a quorum when the purchase of paddle boats for Round Lake were purchased. It also provides Doles with the opportunity to conduct business outside of larger public scrutiny, or to slide through motions and expenditures that would result in taxpayer outrage.

Tuesday’s meeting wasn’t much different.

Dogs are lethal weapons.

Edwin Diaz is Monroe’s animal control officer, though this has been retitled “DCO” (for Dog Control), suggesting that Diaz is more concerned with dogs than other animals — feral cats, bears, dogs and others. He was hired by Harley Doles without a public posting for the position, with no disclosure on his qualification, and with the rumor that he is ex-Law Enforcement. It leads to the obvious questions:

  • Do we have such a dog control problem in Monroe that we need yet another paid employee handpicked by Harley Doles?
  • Is Diaz even qualified in the handling of animals, domesticated or otherwise?

Harley DolesAs we’re about to learn, that second point may be questioned.

Tuesday’s meeting was staged to provide a dramatic forum for Doles and Diaz to create a need that didn’t exist, and exploit a situation that was outside of the town’s jurisdiction, so that Doles could justify arming an animal control officer with a handgun. And this isn’t the first time this need has been socialized. But it is the first time that Harley Doles was so brazen as to exploit the childhood experience of a Monroe resident and play to the cameras for anyone watching. And play it he did, literally like a broken record.

“You were MAULED by a german shepherd. Yes, I’m talking to YOU, Emily Convers! You were mauled, you were MAULED by a german shepherd!”

Yes. She was. Over 30 years ago. Not in Monroe. Which is the one trait in common with this incident and the one exploited to cite the needs of an animal control officer.

The incident that occurred with Mr. Diaz occurred over the weekend at the junction of US Route 6 and NY Route 293. Those familiar will realize that this is in the jurisdiction of Harriman State Park. It was also several miles outside Monroe’s borders. The State Police were summoned concerning a Rottweiler who allegedly “attacked” the troopers who tried to approach it. How Diaz came to the scene is not yet determined, but it is something we intend to file for a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to understand the full background.

Harley DolesThe incident made for great theatre to play up the need for equipment for the Dog Shelter and Diaz, including the purchase of a vehicle and other equipment, purely for a role created by and for Harley Doles. The inferences to arming the animal control officer are alarming. And use of the Harriman State Park incident did not go unnoticed by this website, creating even more questions than were answered by the emergency meeting. But the outcome was clear that Mr. Diaz now has the opportunity to request all the equipment he so needs. This may or may not include a fire-arm, and that is something which should concern all residents as it puts Mr. Diaz as a paid enforcement officer, employed by the Town of Monroe. As readers know, the unincorporated town does not have its own police force, and utilizes the services of the State Police Troop F in Monroe.

As for the dog shelter, it has been a facility that has been under-utilized by the town, and the town does very little (read: nothing) to promote that any animals have been found or that pets are available for adoption to qualified families. The Facebook page for the shelter has not had an update in four (4) years.

Does Harley Doles fear dogs?

Harley DolesThe one commonality between Harley Doles and the people of Kiryas Joel who largely elected him in 2013 is that both do not like animals. Specifically dogs. It appears a natural outreach of that for Doles to expand his own personal Gestapo to include a paid full-time employee who carries a weapon. A fire-arm. Not a tranquilizer gun, stun-gun, pepper-spray, or any other repellant. But something very lethal about which residents should be very concerned.

Because we all know that a Chihuahua is lethal in the wrong hands. Just like a hand-gun. And just as Harley Doles would have residents believe from his own dramatics.

But it leaves us to wonder if Mr. Doles irrational actions are justified by orders from Kiryas Joel based on their belief system and their disapproval of dogs, rather than a rational understanding of animals. We’re left questioning whether Mr. Doles’ argument is based in civil law or in Satmar law, as rational people can understand both certain fears of dogs, and that most domesticated canines are well-behaved. Monroe is a town where many families have pets as members of their families, many of those being dogs of all breeds. And apparently, Mr. Diaz doesn’t show much qualification as an animal control officer to be concerned about a Rottweiler when State Police carry service weapons as protection should the situation warrant. They apparently decided it did not, and did not discharge their weapons.

Harley DolesApparently, it isn’t dogs that Harley Doles fears. It’s his own residents, and he’s hired more armed security to calm his paranoia that a resident might harm him. If this website is concerned about yet another armed employee on the town payroll for the Supervisor’s personal security, it’s a justifiable concern. Monroe does not need a private Gestapo at Harley Doles’ beck and call, and his actions are strikingly similar to the actions of the Third Reich.

So Mr. Doles and Town Board, we ask you: Who is Edwin Diaz, what are his qualifications to be an animal control officer, and why does he need a fire-arm for that job?

And we implore Mr. Doles and this Town Board: Stop with the over-dramatization and paranoid ramblings about the dangers of dogs. The residents of Monroe can think of nothing more dangerous than one man, mentally unhinged, left to destroy this town through his irresponsible, paranoid, and irrational actions.

Managing Editor