"…Let's face it, the community of Kiryas Joel is a massive financial leech on Monroe, on Orange County, and on New York State. You trade votes for favors with corrupt politicians as a means of furthering your cultural goals. And you do all this with no regard for your neighbors, or for the degradation of the quality of life of the people around you that your behavior results in. This disgusts me.…"
Above and above right: an official modesty sign in the Satmar haisidc Village of Kiryas Joel, New York
The following open letter was published yesterday in the Photo-News, a local newspaper in Orange County, New York, in response to public relations mailings sent out by Kiryas Joel in an attempt to influence a proposed annexation of land from the Town of Monroe into Kiryas Joel – the poorest community (on paper at least) in the entire United States.
The Kiryas Joel mailings tout its purported "sustainable growth" and say its high-density housing is meant to combat suburban sprawl. But in truth, Kiryas Joel is a repeat violator of New York State's open meetings law and has a horrible environmental record chock full of EPA violations.
An open letter to the leaders of Kiryas Joel:
Thank you for sharing your recent postcards with the citizens of the Town and Village of Monroe. They are very professionally done, and they paint a pleasantly positive image of your community.
But having said that, I now find that I must be brutally honest. It boggles my mind how deceptive your advertising is, and how arrogant you seem to be regarding your status in the world-at-large; as if you are the only ones that matter, and the rest of us are irrelevant.
Let's face it, the community of Kiryas Joel is a massive financial leech on Monroe, on Orange County, and on New York State. You trade votes for favors with corrupt politicians as a means of furthering your cultural goals.
And you do all this with no regard for your neighbors, or for the degradation of the quality of life of the people around you that your behavior results in. This disgusts me.
You do not want to make nice with your neighbors; your actions (which speaking louder than words and propaganda) make that crystal clear. Any such characterization of that by your public relations efforts is a bald-faced lie.
Your ad in this newspaper portrays your pattern of growth as "smart." Let me tell you something: "smart" is the last thing it is.
Here's what "smart growth" starts with:
• It starts with not having more children than your family can support with its own income, and is not predicated on social services as a primary support mechanism.
• It starts with not overtaxing the local water and sewage systems, which ultimately pollute the environment and create shortages in needed resources.
• It starts with development that is inclusive of the people who live around you rather than exclusive.
It makes me sick to my stomach each time you are publicly criticized and your response to it is "Anti-Semitism" or "Racism."
That is so tired.
Your neighbors are neither anti-Semitic or racist. The Monroe community outside of your village is comprised of many Jews, Christians, Irish, Italians, Polish, Mexicans, Chinese, and Caribbean-born peoples. They are black, white, yellow, and all ranges of skin color, and they are all celebrated by the Town and the Village of Monroe.
What you call anti-Semitism is actually anti-you-using-our-money-to-fund-your-culture. What you are doing is amoral, and clearly against God's wishes. Read your Commandments and take them to heart.
You have created an enemy of your neighbors in Monroe, Woodbury and beyond, mainly because we don't wish to pay for your "smart growth" out of our own pockets and taxes. Please know that you will be fought and fought and fought until you change your tune and begin financially supporting your culture on your own.
The days of you being supported by Monroe, Orange County and New York State are done.