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Know Your Town Board, Monroe, NY

Dan Burke

Know Your Town Board, Monroe, NY:

It’s been a well-documented fact via this website that the Town Board of Monroe, led by Supervisor Harley Doles, will stop at nothing to distort the truth and manipulate the uninformed in order to pander to a single segment of the Town’s population: The Village of Kiryas Joel. We’ve seen great examples of this in the days closing in on the election for both the 98th State Assembly District as well as the long vacant Town Council seat.

This site has already provided the examples of the outrageous and incoherent ramblings of Harley Doles. If those weren’t convincing enough, the next exhibits might be an even more polarizing example of how the Monroe Supervisor has chosen to create a divisive environment in his own town. Now it’s time for you to get to know your town board, Monroe, NY.

First, we present the mass distribution that made its way around Kiryas Joel on Saturday, leaving little doubt of whose interests the supervisor has vested.

Harley Doles KJ Appeal

Know Your Town Board, Monroe, NY

Gerry McQuade (left) and Dan Burke (far right) handing out campaign literature in Kiryas Joel on November 2nd.

If you thought the behavior couldn’t become any more ridiculous and indefensible, Doles & Co were at it again in Kiryas Joel on Forest Road on Sunday evening, where Council Members Gerard McQuade & Dan Burke were out handing out “campaign literature” that equally dishonest in the portrayal of the residents outside the square mile village. NewsWatchNY and this website have obtained a copy of the literature and provided it in PDF form for your review here.

Monroe Town Council Members Attack United Monroe

Among the false allegations:

  • United Monroe endorsed candidates would “demand that government stop giving healthcare to families.”
  • “KJ’s women will give birth to 30,000 babies immediately.”
  • “KJ’s growth will the way of life, poison the environment, create traffic jams, pollute the Ramapo River, and ruin the lives of what they call the ‘Good People’ of Orange County.”
  • “Kiryas Joel, if they are allowed to have 30,000 children they would immediately vote and gain total political influence in Orange County and even New York State…”

The claims are so baseless that even Harley Doles’ version of “the truth” that he has peddled to Kiryas Joel is so absurd as to be comical. Unfortunately, without a proper rebuttal, this is what people who have no other information will be led to believe. But it doesn’t make the false allegations any more true or lend them credibility.

Information is power.

Voters need to be armed with the facts. So here they are in order.

  • Demands on healthcare. The statistics are readily available, and 95% of the population of Kiryas Joel is receiving Medicaid. Regardless of reason — and this deserves further scrutiny — these facts have been on record and published widely. There are reasons and loopholes in the current laws that make this possible, or that can be used to exploit this to a net benefit. Nonetheless, the following questions should be raised by this alarming trend: (1) Are the people of Kiryas Joel any more deserving of benefits than any other municipality in the county, either by number or proportionally to population? (2) If the population grows, whether organically over time or immediately through approval of annexation, that trend could be expected to continue as proportionally. Who would foot the bill for that financial burden on the county or state other than the taxpayers who aren’t using those services? (3) What are the issues with the community that should be addressed first in order to make them less dependent on their neighbors in the town, county and state on public subsidies?
  • 30,000 babies immediately. This defies description and has no context. The way in which 30,000 people could suddenly converge on Kiryas Joel isn’t through the organic growth, and the description of such is an insult to anyone’s intelligence. Even Harley Doles. But the growth assessment is contained in papers filed by developers who seek to annex 507 acres of adjacent land in the Town of Monroe for the purpose of development to pay for KJ’s pipeline project. That information is part of public record. If the land is annexed, it will be done with the intent of changing the current zoning from rural residential to high-density urban. How could 30,000 people suddenly populate Kiryas Joel? The new housing being built to a density the region cannot support based on its current infrastructure. Which brings us to the 3rd point in the flyer.
  • KJ’s growth. This is not as much of a lie but a dismissal of the truth behind the proposed annexation. Here are the facts:
    • (1) Poisoning the environment. Kiryas Joel has a dismal record of environmental stewardship, cited most recently by a settlement with the US Attorney’s Office on the dumping of poultry processing waste directly into the Ramapo River. There is no reason to expect those habits to change, and the result will be highly detrimental to the surrounding environment.
    • (2) The Ramapo River is already at its capacity for effluent. The lives of others at the southern end of the river depend on usable water sources that largely include the Ramapo and its tributaries. Further discharge would endanger the river and potentially kill all aquatic life and damage the surrounding wetlands. The Ramapo could become a “dead river” very easily and exude a sewage smell for anyone downstream. Moreover, the current sewage treatment infrastructure is at capacity. There is no more capacity for further development.
    • (3) The road system surrounding Kiryas Joel was barely designed for a village of 8,000, not the 20,000+ who live there now. Routes into, out of, and within the village would need major upgrades to handle the increased traffic flow. Those roads are under the stewardship of the Town of Monroe, and would further strain a budget that is not being responsibly spent.
    • (4) Pollution increases would stem from motor exhaust, additional garbage and waste, and other environmental impact that KJ leadership is too quick to dismiss, and politicians are too quick to gloss-over in pursuit of the massive voting bloc that KJ’s support brings. All of those would impact the lives of not just neighboring Monroe, Woodbury and Blooming Grove, but the impact would be felt by everyone in Orange County, then southward to Rockland County and beyond if the impact of the Ramapo River is considered.
  • Voting. This is so silly and fear-mongering as to barely merit a response, but we’ll provide one. Harley Doles doesn’t speak to the issue of annexation since his previous statements have been so supportive of this. The addition of 30,000 “people” does not mean “30,000 born immediately”, and Harley Doles knows this. If annexation is approved, building begins in earnest, and residents move in, the population increase would likely double in a fairly short amount of time. If that does happen, the influence of Kiryas Joel’s political power would overtake that of the rest of the county and surrounding communities unless those people voted in their own bloc vote in opposition to Kiryas Joel’s views. It’s completely ridiculous to assert that suddenly 30,000 babies will be born and immediately be told how to vote as citizens routinely are today.

The continued assertions leave out a lot of details that are strictly used to broad brush the issues while painting the remainder of Harley Doles’ community — that of the Town of Monroe, or the other 52% of the town’s population — as biased based on how he continues to falsify and misconstrue important details.

In the latest flyer, you’ll also note the appeal he makes to vote for two candidates, both of whom have direct political ties to the existing Town Board: Elisa Tutini for State Assembly (the domestic partner of Councilman Dan Burke) and Blanca Johnson for Town Board (a friend of the Doles family who recently shared comments about her qualifications for the role based on being a hispanic female married to an African-American male, neither of which speak to her actual qualifications).

There is no underestimating the desperation to which the Monroe Town Board will resort to ensure their selected voting bloc is coddled and supported, and no end to the misrepresentations they’ll sell to the public to convey that message. Make no mistake, while one election impacts the Town of Monroe, all of the current November 4th elections impact Orange County and New York as well.

This site has made clear its endorsements for both positions, and they’re not the two candidates supported by the gentlemen in the picture or named in the literature.  This site has endorsed both Dan Castricone for State Assembly and Dennis McWatters for Town Board, neither of whom are crazy, or at least as unstable as Mr. Doles has demonstrated recently. But we encourage you to do your own research. No candidate is perfect, but we believe we’ve selected those who would act in the best interests of the voters of Monroe and of Orange County.

In other words, don’t believe anything the Monroe Town Board tells you, since they’ve clearly tipped their hand.

Managing Editor