Referendums won’t fix Ramapo

Posted on 29 September 2014 by Josh Fallik

A ward system and larger Town Council won’t solve the issues that challenge Ramapo, and won’t weaken a controversial town supervisor. And both could drive up taxpayer costs.

I mean no disrespect to the residents of our town of Ramapo who came up with these ideas, but I think the proposals will not have the intended effect, and will end up causing more harm than good. Why do I say the proposals won’t have the intended effect? The activists who came up with these proposals want to be able to reign in a runaway town supervisor who is able to ram his ideas through his majority on the town council. I think that if the supervisor is truly popular, he will still be able to command a majority and get his supporters elected to the town board no matter how the wards end up being divided (the proposals support change to a ward system), and thus get his way as far as votes taken in the town council. More votes on the council will do nothing to blunt this power.

RamapoNoThe two referendums ask to create a ward system and expand the town council from four to six members. Many have already noted that adding more council members means more council members who demand a salary; that will make government more expensive. The maintenance of the ward administration and division process will also likely increase costs of town government. The ward form of government is not common for New York State towns. Questions will remain as to how the wards are to be divided and which entity will be doing the dividing. It will be almost as if we will be adding another (unnecessary) layer of government, on top of what we already have. I say that we shouldn’t jump off the cliff into untried waters when we don’t know where that will lead.

I have the same issues with a runaway town supervisor, but I am certain that this is not the solution. At any rate, any publications directed at a group of people characterizing the other group as “enemies” are inappropriate, as are references to people as “us” and “them.” If you agree with what I am saying, to vote “NO” to both propositions.

Norman Tuttle

Airmont

THE ISSUE

Ramapo town voters participate in a special election on Tuesday, to consider two referendums that aim to expand the size of the Town Council, and have councilmembers represent wards, or sections of town.

Here are the referendum questions:

• Question 1: “Shall the ward system be established for the election of councilmen in Ramapo?”

• Question 2: “Shall the number of councilmen or councilwomen of the Town of Ramapo be increased from four to six?”

Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. For more information, call the Ramapo Town Clerks office at 845-357-5100.

 

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