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THE ASSEMBLY STATE OF NEW YORK ALBANY
JAMES SKOUFIS Member of Assembly
February 13, 2014 Mr. Joseph Martens Commissioner New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233 Dear Commissioner Martens: I am writing to you today regarding the competing requests for lead agent in the annexation petition that seeks to move 507 acres of land from the unincorporated Town of Monroe into the Village of Kiryas Joel. Given the unique circumstances involving the matter, I strongly encourage you to designate the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District (MWCSD) or the DEC as lead agent. First and foremost, it is very apparent that the annexation request by homeowners and landowners is, in actuality, being done at the behest of the Kiryas Joel administration. Today, the village administration refuses to make any public comments on this matter, but they made their intentions known in 2004 when a similar annexation proposal was being considered. According to the Times Herald-
Record, “[Village Administrator]
Szegedin told the Record that the village planned to first submit a large annexation request and then have County Executive Ed Diana propose the creation of a separate town as a peacemaking gesture.
In the same 2004 conversations, Szegedin explained
the idea further by sharing, “It’s not going to be convincing by love. It’s going to be convincing by reality.”
Based on the above referenced comments and the fact that the Kiryas Joel administration clearly is the driving force behind the present annexation petition, they are not an objective party in this process as would often be the case in these types of annexation proceedings. Furthermore, the present Kiryas Joel administration has a history of dealing with environmental impact studies in a nonchalant manner in order to expediently serve their own interests. Perhaps most notable was their preposterous original attempt at a negative declaration regarding the
13-mile water pipeline project. It was only after numerous court orders that an environmental impact study was conducted; further environmental litigation is still pending.
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