It Takes A Village … To Destroy Clarkstown!

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Your mind knows some things. Your instinct knows everything. If you listen to what you know instinctively, it will always lead you down the right path – Henry Winkler

To:  The Editors of Rockland Voice
From: Peter Bradley

For the past few weeks, I have been disseminating information about the upcoming critically important Clarkstown Ward System Referendum which will be held on Election Day, November 3rd, 2015. Preserve Rockland is strongly endorsing two “YES” votes for both of the Ward System questions which will be located on the back of your election ballot.

Supervisor Gromack

Supervisor Gromack

It has now become public that Supervisor Gromack and Councilwoman Shirley Lasker have been outwardly campaigning for the Clarkstown Ward System vote to fail. Mr. Gromack and Mrs. Lasker are telling unknowing residents that Clarkstown isn’t Ramapo and therefore, we don’t need to have a Ward System. They are providing literature encouraging residents to vote “NO.”

I would like to remind everyone that the Ramapo elected officials of today haven’t always embraced a surging form of government that essentially oppresses its majority population in order to satisfy its extremely small but exceptionally powerful special-interest minority.

As I write today, the Town of Ramapo has been taken under complete political control by the small Hasidic enclave villages known as New Square and Kaser. How is it possible that something like this can happen when those two villages comprise a total geographic land mass of only 0.1% of Ramapo? How is it that they completely have a hammer-lock on the way Ramapo’s Christopher St. Lawrence runs the Town of Ramapo’s business?

The answer is that early in their existence, New Square shown on this map and Kaser shown on this map both incorporated their small plots of land as villages (New Square sits on .04 sq. miles and Kaser sits on .02 sq. miles. Ramapo is approximately 61.2 sq. miles). As per NYS Election Law, if geographic boundaries are designated which contain at least 500 people (children are included in this count), and there is a desire via public vote of people within those boundaries, a village can be incorporated. If the majority vote “YES” to incorporation, then the newly formed village gets to create its own village government complete with a mayor, board of trustees and of course village Planning, Building and Zoning boards.

This was the precise recipe that allowed New Square and Kaser to build all of the high-density building that they continue to choose to do. It should be noted that this is all legal. Obviously there are serious and legitimate objections from the local fire departments, but the town has very little leverage that they can use against the villages to comply with safety.

Back to the Clarkstown Ward System. When Alex Gromack publicly denounces the need for a Clarkstown Ward System, he always reverts to the fact that Clarkstown has strong Planning, Zoning and Building Departments. His campaign pledge has blossomed into “I will ensure that we do not become Ramapo.”

As I have just outlined above, there was a time in history when Ramapo had all of those strong departments as well. In fact, Ramapo fought the creation of New Square all the way to the NYS Supreme Court. It wasn’t until that time in 1961, that New Square was declared eligible to incorporate. At that time Ramapo kept arguing that there would be severe environmental consequences to allowing that kind of high-density housing. The Town claimed that the town’s infrastructure couldn’t handle that kind of population explosion.

Oh how right they were! Nowadays, during heavy rain storms, Ramapo’s sewers containing human excrement periodically overflow onto their streets! So it is important to understand if villages start popping up in Clarkstown, they will not care nor have to honor any codes that we currently have in effect.

The overwhelming reason why it is so critical to have everyone vote “YES” to both of the Ward System questions on the rear of your ballot, is because Ward governments promote fairness and equality for ALL OF ITS RESIDENTS. No longer will Clarkstown residents be voting “at-large” for town board elections. You will only be voting for the candidates that are running to represent your Ward. This will eliminate the possibility of a village popping up right on the perimeter of Clarkstown and then swing town-wide elections. Villages would only be permitted to vote for one only one town board representative.

If Clarkstown continues to use the same “at-large” form of government that has destroyed Ramapo, then it will become Ramapo! It should also be noted that the villages of New Square and Kaser recently voted “NO” at a 98% clip for the failed Ramapo Ward System! To vote “Yes” for the Clarkstown Ward System isn’t hard to figure out. It is my opinion that Mr. Gromack and Mrs. Lasker supported putting the referendum on the ballot because they believed the public would support the Democrats in opposing it knowing that the Reform Party was going to make the passage of the referendum a key element of its platform.

I have asked Mr. Gromack’s supporters dozens of times: “What is the plan when villages start popping up?” The only answers that I received were: “Aaaaah, that will never happen” or “Let’s deal with that when it starts happening.”

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Candidate George Hoehmann

Sorry…..I refuse to wait until we start transitioning into Ramapo before we take action. The voters, will have a golden opportunity falling out of the sky on November 3rd brought to you by the leadership of the next Supervisor of Clarkstown, George Hoehmann. PLEASE remember to flip your ballot over and vote “YES” for the two Ward System questions on the rear.

Should you have further questions about the Ward System, please feel free to call or email me. I will always respond.

If the Ward System Referendum fails, please don’t ever say you didn’t have an opportunity to decide! There are only two roads and voters must choose to go along one of them.  You can choose to vote “No” with Supervisor Gromack or “Yes” with George Hoehmann.  If you decide that you wish to vote “Yes” for the Ward System then vote into office all of the candidates on the REFORM line ROW H.  They are pledged to implement it.

Thank you.

Pete Bradley
Preserve Rockland
pmbradley1@yahoo.com
(914)772-1244

[DISCLAIMER: This opinion piece is purely political in nature. It is intended to stimulate mature and intelligent conversations about very important local issues in Clarkstown. Whatever spiritual guidance that people choose to seek in their personal lives has no influence, nor is of any concern, to the author.]

{EDITORS NOTE:  Rockland Voice endorses a ‘YES’ vote on the two referenda and endorses George Hoehmann for Clarkstown Supervisor.}

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