The time has come to revisit the City of Suffern initiative that I have previously brought up.
A number of years ago I did a tremendous amount of research on this issue. I conferred with then-mayor Trish Abato and former Village of Suffern Attorney Terry Rice.
As a full service village, Suffern still has to pay more than $1.5 million each year to the Town of Ramapo and we receive very little in return.
As many would agree, we have taxation with little or no representation. I would argue that we have only a single voice advocating for our residents on the Town Board. We also know that the Ward referendum was in part stolen from Ramapo residents via illegal actions. It’s well documented that Town employees actively worked against the referendum including the receipt of donations to oppose the Ward Referendum on Town time, on the Town dime.
Since this initiative was first addressed, we’ve seen a number of town officials indicted which casts a shadow over our town.
When I first broached this subject with Mayor Abato, I made it very clear that this initiative had to be non-partisan; it had to be about the people of Suffern and not about one political party versus another. To her credit, Mayor Abato agreed wholeheartedly.
As a city, there are a number of key advantages. The City of Suffern informational website will be up later this week to provide facts and answer many of these questions. I also have in my possession a proposed Charter for the formation of The City of Suffern. I consider this to be a working document that will allow us to be inclusive of the ideas and suggestions of residents.
As a resident, I’m spearheading a non-partisan effort to discuss this initiative. The goal is not to force this initiative on the residents; rather it is designed to put this out to the residents of the Village of Suffern via a referendum on the upcoming November ballot. We will address the Village of Suffern Board in coming months after we have heard from residents and addressed concerns.
I have assembled a small group of people of varied backgrounds to discuss this initiative. It is our intention to expand this group so that different voices can be heard and potential issues can be addressed. At some point in the near future we anticipate holding public meetings to address any issues and answer questions.
This effort is in no way a means to denigrate any past administration or the current Village administration. The hat is only there to grab people’s attention and to get people talking; I almost expect somebody to take offense and I’m fine with that too. Our goal is obviously to make Suffern great again where the village can rebuild infrastructure, invest in our village and control our destiny.