Developers' influence in Ramapo

October 24, 2014

Re " Ramapo workers tied to $130G anti-ward campaign," Oct. 7 article:

Many Journal News subscribers have read about Ramapo Democratic Party Chairwoman Mona Montal's remarkable request for $10,000 or $20,000 donations from Ramapo developers to help defeat the Ramapo ward referendum.

Why would Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence's director of purchasing ask Ramapo developers for such huge contributions? Unfortunately, the answer is obvious. If you have the right connections you can build anything here. Just take a drive through Monsey. If you haven't driven through this area in a few years, or even within the past year, you will be amazed by the new and massive construction.

State law requires that every municipality have a comprehensive plan to guarantee that growth is accompanied by adequate planning for its environmental impact. Unfortunately, our Ramapo Planning and Zoning Boards are appointed by Supervisor St. Lawrence. Their job, it seems, is to ignore our comprehensive plan. Planning no longer exists in Ramapo. Developers are making a fortune and we will have to pick up the tab.

Ramapo is the most financially stressed town in New York state. And Rockland County is also in terrible shape. Our town does not have the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars we need for new roads, and sewer expansion. And Rockland County does not have the financial resources it needs to pay for our rapidly expanding social welfare costs.

Scary, isn't it?

Robert I. Rhodes
Suffern
The writer is chairman of Preserve Ramapo.