‘Beyond The Horizon’
Rockland County Is Booming
Is Prosperity ‘Busting Out All Over’?
Growth is always touted as desirable and though we live in a “corridor of corruption” in one of the highest taxed counties in the United States we live in one of its safest and best places – that is according to one local politician who reads Money Magazine and quotes CNN.
Why therefore one might ask does living in corruption in the second-highest property taxed county not discourage Rockland’s population growth? Is Rockland the new United States ‘Utopia’? A closer look suggests Rockland’s growth is indeed making it the new ‘Utopia’ for some but the new ‘Dystopia’ for everyone else.
Consider this – The Journal News reports that Ramapo’s population grew by the third most of any town and city in the state, according to new United States census. Census estimates released earlier this year had cited Rockland County as having New York’s highest population percentage increase in 2014. Ramapo’s population, which is estimated at 133,351, is 5 percent higher than four years ago.
Phil Tisi, the town supervisor’s assistant, (the Journal News does not dare mention the Town Supervisor’s name) attributed the growth to the “draw of its villages” and the town’s large Hasidic population. Kiryas Joel village in Orange county and New Square village in Rockland, both known for their large Hasidic populations, jumped 10 percent from only four years ago — the highest rate of any municipality in New York with more than 4,000 residents.
“There’s certainly growth in the religious communities,” Tisi said.
Here are a few questions upon which Mr. Tisi might opine:
1) What exactly is the “draw” of Ramapo’s villages? We understand the school system there has a great ‘divide’. There is disarray where public school budgets are being looted and where children being educated in private Yeshivas are not being taught or tested to any of the State’s educational standards though they do know how to slaughter an ox and conduct financial transactions prevalent in the Middle East two millennia ago. The East Ramapo school board reportedly conducts much business in Executive Session returning to its public sessions “around about midnight’ when they make no attempt to step ‘across the divide’.
2) What are the other “religious communities” (plural) referred to by Tisi? The census refers to only one religious community. What is the rate of growth in the Catholic, Protestant, and Islamic communities? We are curious, Mr. Tisi – where exactly does one go to find these other “communities“? Are they also in some particular Utopian place ‘beyond the horizon’ to which they are “drawn”?
3) What is the growth rate in the water supply for Rockland County, Mr. Tisi? Have you calculated in the absence of a desalination plant whether the future water supply will match the future population growth of locations with a utopian “draw“? If we don’t increase the water supply soon to match the population growth in Spring Valley ‘down in that valley the water will run cold’.
4) Although religious communities might pray that it be so, land does not have a ‘growth rate’. So a utopian population has to grow up or out? In those villages that are a “draw” is it ‘up’ or ‘out’ in your opinion, Mr. Tisi?
5) What has been the growth rate in Medicaid and Section 8 housing in those villages which are an attractive “draw” in Rockland County? Is the property tax base increasing or declining? We need to increase the property tax base with a growing population if we are to aspire to becoming the third most property taxed county in the United States and escape the ‘Dystopian’ position of first place in the religious land of milk and honey for some and no water for all.
6) Mr. Tisi, Steve Possell regales us on WRCR with tales of a booming housing economy in Rockland with sales going through the proverbial roof and not enough realtors to process the demand. Meanwhile Legislator Meyers hints that sales might be on the rise because of ‘block busting’. Are Chestnut Ridge and Airmont “draws” in your opinion, Mr. Tisi? Is there any blockbusting going on in either of those locations? Or are we just hearing ‘dystopian’ tales from beyond Clarkstown’s horizon?
7) We are told that in Rockland County there is a religious divide over the above questions. Mr. Tisi, do you think that is true? If ‘Yes’, and if you are a member of one of the warring religious communities ‘beyond the horizon and across the divide’, would you please say a prayer for all of their souls?
Here in Clarkstown there is no religious divide between our Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic, and Buddhist neighbors. We are all very safe living in the second highest property taxed area of the United States in one of its most politically corrupt States and getting along very nicely.
Bob Dylan however sums it up this way when he sings …….
“Beyond the horizon, across the divide
Around about midnight, we’ll be on the same side
Down in the valley the water runs cold
Beyond the horizon someone prayed for your soul”