Community View: Ward system benefits all Ramapo communities
September 18, 2014
This article suggested that the Ramapo Ward Referendum scheduled for Sept. 30 is motivated by the desire " to counter the political influence of Ramapo's growing Orthodox community." This characterization is not fair.
The unfortunate fact is that Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence has become a petty dictator who has made our religious community hostage to his irresponsible conduct. His incompetent rule is an example of why democracy is necessary for honest and efficient government.
The Orthodox community opposed the construction of St. Lawrence's $60 million stadium, a project that was supposed to cost only $20 million, and is losing about $3 million a year.
When our Hasidic community demanded that Ramapo build affordable housing, St. Lawrence used the opportunity to build housing on Elm Street that was so expensive that almost no family in Ramapo's Hasidic community could afford to buy apartments. The only people who profited were the contractors who St. Lawrence selected to build the project and the LLCs that purchased the apartments.
Did St. Lawrence really do our Hasidic community a favor when he encouraged uncontrolled development in Monsey? Most recently after the federal court fined Sewer District #1 hundreds of thousands of dollars because of massive sewer spills (" Judge deciding Rockland sewer agency penalties," May 8 article) we had yet another spill. How much will this fine cost Ramapo and Clarkstown, and how much will it cost to finally fix our sewers?
The leaders of our Hasidic community have been na´ve. They believed that if they helped St. Lawrence elect a rubber-stamp town board their community would prosper. Instead, they have proven, once again, that democracy is the best form of government. Only a town board that represents all of Ramapo can protect the future of Ramapo for all of its citizens.
Robert I. Rhodes Suffern