Orange County, NY - VIDEO: Monroe Town Board Meeting Mobbed As Vote On KJ Annexation Proposals Set
Orange County, NY - It was a scene reminiscent of an angry mob at last night’s Monroe Town Board meeting held at the Town’s movie theater. Chants of “Save our schools!”, “Shame on you!”, and “You’re a coward!” drowned out calls by board members urging community members to “Have some respect” and “Please come to order.”
The movie theater proved too small to accommodate the teeming crowd, and attendees blocked fire exits for the first part of the meeting, rejecting pleas to move into the hall where 150 additional chairs had been set up.
Throughout the debate, board members repeatedly asked for calm and quiet, but were shouted down. One woman came forward to confront the members face-to-face, calling the board “morally corrupt” before she was removed.
At issue is when the vote will be held on two annexation proposals which would expand Kiryas Joel by 507 or 164 acres taken from the Town of Monroe. These highly contentious petitions have roiled the community over the last several months, and the deadline to vote in favor of or against the measures is Tuesday, September 8. The board explained it also had to file its decisions with the clerk’s offices in Monroe, Kiryas Joel, and Orange County on September 8 or risk triggering an automatic filing in favor of the proposals.
With the upcoming holiday weekend, board members argued they had no other recourse but to hold the vote at noon on September 8 while people are at work to ensure enough time for filing – a move which infuriated the audience, prompting additional cries of “No! No! No!”, “Monday night! Monday night!”, and “Change the time!”
The board rejected requests to hold the vote on Sunday or Monday night, saying it would try to get written permission to keep all the clerks’ offices open until the evening to allow a for a 7 PM vote on Wednesday, thereby enabling all those who want to attend the vote to do so. The board is expected to announce the exact time and venue for the vote via a formal announcement later today.
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