Kiryas Joel, NY - Winds Of Change To Blow In Town Of Monroe?
Kiryas Joel, NY - Buoyed by an Election Day victory, leaders of the factious group Kiryas Joel Alliance have expressed optimism that brighter and more harmonious times are ahead for the very diverse population of the Town of Monroe.
As previously reported on VIN News, candidates Mike McGinn and Tony Cardone, who ran on the Republican and United Monroe lines, won two seats on the town board, defeating Daniel Burke who was endorsed by the Village of Kiryas Joel.
In a statement released to the media, Kiryas Joel Alliance board member David Falkowitz said that the newly elected board members have earned reputations as being “hardworking, honest and fair gentlemen.” Falkowitz also noted that he met with the two candidates prior to the election and found them to be receptive and understanding of the unique needs and traditions of the Jewish community.
“We have spoken with them for hours on end and found them to be very reasonable people with a passion for justice and fairness to all,” added another board member of the Kiryas Joel Alliance, who asked to remain anonymous. “They are people we felt absolutely comfortable to endorse and we are confident that they will treat all residents of Monroe equally and fairly.”
Members of the Kiryas Joel Alliance, who according to reports in the Times Herald Record cast almost 2,400 votes in the election, threw their weight behind Cardone and McGinn as a display of communal unity.
“We wish to demonstrate to the citizens of the Town of Monroe - and indeed all of Orange County - that by mutual respect and open dialog, diverse cultures can co-exist in harmony. We are confident that beginning with today’s election, a new atmosphere is about to dawn in the Town of Monroe.”
Unofficial results by the Orange County Board of Elections show Cardone with 8,352 votes, McGinn with 8,306 votes and incumbent councilman Daniel Burke, the only candidate supported by the Village of Kiryas Joel, trailing behind with 4,342 votes.
The only other candidate in the election, Dennis McWatters received just 161 votes.
Village of Kiryas Joel officials consider the Kiryas Joel Alliance’s support of McGinn and Cardone to be a slap in the face to Burke.
“I am disappointed that a faction in our community can justify rejecting a town councilman who helped them build a boys and girls school, a mikva, synagogues, and numerous housing and commercial units within the Town of Monroe,” Ari Felberman, Kiryas Joel’s government relations coordinator, told VIN News. “Dan Burke deserved better from the Jewish community.”
Despite its diminutive size, only 1.1 square miles as reported by the United States Census, Kiryas Joel continues to make more than its fair share of headlines.
A referendum on a proposed expansion plan that would annex 164 acres from the Town of Monroe into the Village of Kiryas Joel is due to be held on Monday, although lawyers for the opposition movement will be in federal court tomorrow, hoping to convince a judge to derail the scheduled referendum.
Perpetual friction between United Monroe and the Village of Kiryas Joel have created increasing tensions in the area, as Monroe residents have attempted to control what they see as the village’s uncontrolled appetite for growth, with the village responding with accusations of anti-Semitism, an allegation that was further publicized by Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who equated “anti-annexation” with anti-Semitism during his remarks at a public hearing held in the village last June.
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