Mission decided in advance

The Journal News
(Original publication of letter: September 25, 2005)

I am writing to clarify the apparent misconception that the Preserve Ramapo candidates for supervisor and Town Board decided to run as independents only after petitions to place them on the Republican line were disqualified. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Preserve Ramapo has known for well over a year that we would run a slate of candidates. In addition, two of our three candidates are longtime Democrats. We chose our candidates based on their integrity, experience and commitment to honest government with responsible planning and growth.

After Preserve Ramapo selected these candidates, the Republican Party was sufficiently impressed to endorse all three and begin a petition drive to place them on the Republican ballot line. The filing period for Republican and Democratic nominating petitions was one month prior to those for independent parties like Preserve Ramapo. In the end, the Republican petition was disqualified due to objections raised by Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence and his associates.

Nonetheless, prior to this disqualification, Preserve Ramapo had already launched its own petition drive that resulted in the submission of 3,364 signatures to the Board of Elections. This was 500-plus more signatures than the Democrats submitted for their nominating petitions and enough to ward off any challenge. The Preserve Ramapo candidates are now on the ballot, just as planned more than a year ago.

Michael Parietti, Suffern