Sadly mistaken about Neuhaus


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Dear Mr. Neuhaus:
I am writing this letter to you because of your disappointing actions since becoming Orange County Executive. It is a sad state of affairs when an elected official cannot espouse a cogent, prepared and extensive plan for his administration.

In the last few weeks you have shown yourself to be a vapid, unprincipled and generally poor leader. At the outset, one of my criticisms stems from your handling of the Valley View situation.

I do not have any bias towards or for Valley View; rather as a longtime citizen of Orange County, I admire the fact that it is one of the longest county-run facilities in the nation.

The measure of a society is how we treat the least of us. Here you have failed to stand up for the right, moral and ethical position which relates to keeping Valley View.

You must have been aware of the $60 million deficit left by Mr. Diana and yet the one savings you can point to is on the backs of the citizens with the most needs.

You should be ashamed of your position. It only leads me to believe that you are one of those who hope to be a professional politician espousing much but standing for little.

The next issue is the gambling gambit. The last thing we need in Orange County is a false panacea for our ills. The tax rates should be revisited and gambling does not provide an answer to ignoring all the other infrastructure needs we have including our governmental center, bridges, roads and other services.

It is a sad commentary that the first two things you seem to focus upon are not grounded in good governmental planning.

I propose that the primary thing you should be building is a task force for is the issue of Kiryas Joel and its threat to democracy. Why haven't you impaneled an investigation into the election irregularities during the recent Monroe voting? The basic tenet of our democracy is built upon the right to vote and you should be protecting that right for all the citizens of Orange County. It is tragic that Mr. Lamm tampered with votes in Bloomingburg and yet he has not been prosecuted. There is a tale there that should resonate with you. Instead, on television you stated that both sides should be prepared to compromise. That is your problem...a lack of values. Why should one compromise with those who break the law on a regular basis from water lines, to building codes, to illegal schools (in our town of Chester, and you allowed it to flourish; we do not know how many similar operations are in action), to bloc voting and a myriad of other violations. Democracy and a Republic are based upon citizens participating and not being manipulated. By the same token, as an elected leader you are tasked to represent the best interests of all and to serve at your own risk of not being reelected. The founders did not imagine a professional political class of people. You do not have the right to expect any more or less.

Taking advantage of our system is understandable in the world we live in but you would be wise to reevaluate your “friends” who voted for you. Their loyalty extends to only as far as you can “compromise” the values of others. All one has to do is to look and the deplorable conditions in Rockland County in order to understand the future.

In conclusion, I am extremely disappointed in your lack of vision, courage and acumen. We need leadership now which stands for true equality and justice beyond partisanship and rancor. I thought you were the person for this task — but alas I feel sadly mistaken.

Stephen Zecher
Monroe

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