* Do the math: 382 acres, 7,640 apartments, 45,840 people

Oct 5th, 2016 | By | Category: Action Item, Annexation, Government Corruption, Kiryas Joel, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Politics, SEQRA, Village of Harriman NY, VOTE

Why did you move to Orange County? The schools? The rural character? The commute? The people?

Maybe all of the above.

I am proud to be one of an amazing group of people who started the grassroots group, United Monroe.

Register to VOTEWe created our organization four years ago in order to activate a very disengaged electorate so we could finally gain representation in government in Monroe. Monroe is known for having a powerful bloc voting village, Kiryas Joel, within our borders who have had a historically powerful influence in the town government.

United Monroe has been the driving force behind the prevention of the annexation of 507 mostly rural acres of Monroe land into Kiryas Joel.

Today, we are faced with another aggressive action taken by the Kiryas Joel government. Kiryas Joel has submitted the paperwork to the Orange County Legislature petitioning to become their own town. Currently, Kiryas Joel is a village sitting within Monroe. Before you think the idea of Kiryas Joel separating from Monroe and forming their own town called “North Monroe” is a good idea, you must understand what the corrupt leaders of this village are getting out of it.

In this separation, the Kiryas Joel leaders would take 382 mostly rural acres of Monroe land with them. For you to understand the impact of this acreage becoming part of the high density community of Kiryas Joel, let me provide some numbers for you.

In Kiryas Joel, the leaders wish to build twenty apartment units per acre. Twenty apartments times the 382 acres equals 7,640 apartment units. Now, multiply 7,640 apartment units by six people, which is the average family size in Kiryas Joel. That brings you to 45,840 people. 45,840 additional people living in Monroe after Kiryas Joel takes 382 acres of land in order to create their new “Town of North Monroe.”

You decided to live in Monroe, Woodbury, Tuxedo and Chester because you like not having to sit in traffic for 20 minutes to get to the supermarket. You moved here because you like the ridge lines, the trees and the natural beauty of the region. You moved here because of the quality of life you envisioned for your family.

It’s my firm belief that allowing a municipality who do not follow the rules, who are serial environmental violators, who don’t hold fair and open elections, whose modus operandi includes land acquisition akin to manifest destiny, should not be given 382 acres of Monroe land to irresponsibly develop high density housing.

I don’t care what religion you practice. I don’t care how you dress. I don’t care what customs or traditions you engage in.

I do care about the quality of life for my family, I care about my children’s education, and the quality of life and education of all of the families and children in our beautiful region.

This is what motivates me to be a grassroots activist in our community. To expose bad actors, promote good candidates who will represent us fairly, and to educate the public on the issues of great importance to our region.

I implore each and every one of you reading this to lobby your county legislators to say “no” to North Monroe.

If you don’t know who your county legislator is, please go to the Orange County website, and look up your legislator. Then send them an email asking them to reject Kiryas Joel’s expansion efforts and “North Monroe.”

Thank you.

Emily Convers

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