Tuesday, July 14, 2009

News That Matters - July 14th, 2009 - Kent Manor/Pulte Homes

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A special edition!

Yes folks, the developers who run this county have crossed a line from which there is no return and government is not helping. In fact, they're assisting. Two stories....

First: Kent Manor.
"Why the rush? Why the Secrecy?" - Lou Tartaro.

Yesterday we reported that the County Legislature has worked out some sort of deal with the owners at Kent Manor which places the entirety of the blame for anything that happens/happened/might happen or might be caused to happen on the Town of Kent, and on down to the seventh generation.

What the Journal News did not report yesterday was that Kent's primary rep to the County Legislature was not at the meeting when they took this dramatic and irresponsible action and that Mary Ellen O'dell who represents a tiny portion of that town voted no. The potential liability to taxpayers in the Carmel school district could now reach $1.7 million dollars and the financial liability to Kent could surpass $600,000, thanks to the county's actions. These dollars are, as best I can figure, are the back taxes owed by the developer and paid by the county to the school district and to the town.

(Remember how many times I have asked the question: how come Kent Manor can be millions in arrears in property taxes and not be taken to task by the county? Well, apparently they can walk away from that liability. You try do that!)

This is in addition to the alleged $16,000,000 the town is being supposedly being sued for by Kent Acres develpment.

It's important to remember that it was the Putnam County Health Department along with the NYCDEP that precluded the Kent Manor project from proceeding, not the Town of Kent though pundits say otherwise without apparant evidence to support their claims.

At a Kent town board meeting last evening the board read a statement properly condemning the County Leg for this illicit abuse of their municipal responsibility and set in motion an Article 78 proceeding against the county. Good for them. Of course, if the Article 78 goes before Judge O'Rourke we know how it will turn out.

When the Leg met on this issue, official representatives including the Town Supervisor were denied access - at the order of the Legislature and enforced by a Sheriff's Deputy at the county building.

Why, we must ask, has the Legislature taken - in secret - this action against residents of the Town of Kent at a meeting held with only a few days notice?

The lawsuit over Kent Manor goes to court on July 20th. Bring your pitchforks and torches.
Second: The Retreat at the Clearcut and Mountaintop Removal Site in Carmel
The Journal News reports that Lori Kemp, the woman whose life has been screwed by Pulte Homes, Paul Camarda, Judge O'Rourke and the Town of Carmel, was arrested for allegedly shoving an employee who was dropping boulders on her property line with a backhoe. There is the possibility that the rocks were being dropped *on her property* as pipes and lines have been run through her property previously by the same developer without regard. Ms. Kemp, 51, stands just above 5' and weighs barely 100 lbs. Imagine her pushing a backhoe operator hard enough to put him down and allegedly cause injury. It's possible, no doubt, but probable?

As I wrote in an article last week (Is There No Balm In Gilead?), it might take the worst to happen before elected officials stop playing nice with developers, bending over for them and greasing their own behinds for easier and happier entry, for someone to take notice that they've got the system backwards. It's the RESIDENTS they're supposed to be protecting and not the monied, out-of-town interests that run the Town of Carmel and apparently, the County of Putnam.

Ms. Kemp is due in town court on August 17th and if we don't pack the room to overflowing the judge will never understand the severity of the problem nor the anger we rightly hold.
I've written before about the failure of government and people write back to agree. I've written before asking you to take action and you write back and say you would but were afraid to be labeled this or that or feared you might 'get into trouble'. Well, excuse me for asking, but what the f*ck are you afraid of? When county government can abrogate their responsibilities and lay the blame on innocents and when the entire political establishments of one our towns is in an incestuous relationship with developers who seek profit at the expense of the well being of fellow residents, you have to get into trouble. You have to stand up. You have to speak out and you have to take action.

Revolutions are messy business and we'd best get our muck boots on and get to work unless, of course, you like things just the way they are.

Yeah, you're going to get in trouble. And yes, you're going to be targeted and maligned and yes, you may feel the weight of government pressing their boots on the back of your necks but deal with it. Let me tell you, I've been there and they've thrown the worst they can at me and I'm still here and still fighting. And yeah, it hurt bad and it was some of the worst days, weeks and months of my life, but it hasn't swayed me one iota nor has it softened my resolve. And though they've done their best to beat me down they've failed to silence me or this outlet.

Just imagine if people like Lori and I weren't fighting alone. Just imagine what it would be like if everyone who agreed with us set their fears aside and got active? We'd scare the shite out of the powers that be and perhaps beat them into submission for a change. Hey, it's not just a dream if you make it happen. So, make it happen.

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