Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Resident claims Bloomingburg vote petition not valid 

A village resident has filed a complaint in Sullivan County Supreme Court to stop the vote on whether to dissolve this village into the Town of Mamakating.

According to papers filed by Samantha Boodram, a July state Supreme Court decision means the petition that forced the vote is now invalid.

That decision said that a 2006 annexation of Mamakating land into Bloomingburg was illegal since residents of that land didn't vote on the annexation as required by the state constitution.

Thus, the Bloomingburg voters who signed the dissolution petition and live on the previously annexed land are no longer residents of the village, the complaint says.

The legal papers specifically mention signatures from the Amberlite Trailer Park, which was illegally annexed into Bloomingburg. The Aug. 20 complaint also states the signatures from the Godfrey Meadows apartments area annexed in 2000 — are invalid for the same reason.

The complaint says 328 registered voters live in the village, and 20 percent of them would have needed to sign the petition to force the Sept. 30 vote.

Eighty-two voters — more than the 20 percent — signed the petition to force the dissolution vote. But because 23 of those voters live in the areas the court says wasn't actually annexed, their votes — and the petition — are invalid.

And because of the uncertainty over who lives in Bloomingburg and who lives in Mamakating, the complaint says, the actual population of the village can't be determined.

Boodram could not immediately be reached for comment.

A Mamakating Planning Board meeting about a proposed private girls' school linked to the planned housing development at the center of the controversy — Shalom Lamm's 396-home Hasidic development on land that was annexed from Mamakating — is scheduled for Tuesday night.


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