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Review board takes a stand on call to abolish APA

• Local input and consent is the foundation of any successful project in the Adirondacks. Local officials are deeply knowledgeable about the needs of their towns and villages as well as how their towns and land uses fit in to the SLMP. The Agency was envisioned to work cooperatively with governments and landowners to preserve and foster vibrant hamlets as well as protect state Forest Preserve. But as recent times have shown - with three former members of the Adirondack Council on the agency's Board - the Agency seems more interested in targeting landowners than targeting problems. It is an inappropriate closeness - one that the environmental lobby would be upset about if the APA Board were made up of large developers or business people.

• Along the same lines as local input on projects, we need more local input on the APA nominees. In order to more fully include the perspectives of the full-time residents of the Adirondacks, the five local commissioners appointed by the Governor for the Adirondack Park Agency Board should be chose from a list submitted by us each time there is an opening, as was informally done under some previous governors.

• We believe there should be opportunity for judicial review of the APA's decisions by local government - but the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board does not have standing to seek judicial review. A court decision in 1982 ruled that because the APA act didn't explicitly state that the Review Board had standing, it doesn't. The Attorney General also argued in the multi-county, multi-town lawsuit against the APA, regarding the 2008 regulations, that the counties and towns lacked both capacity to sue the Agency and standing. We are seeking to change that because that means current legal decisions that directly affect the financial condition, municipal services, future growth, and programs of local governments are being made in the absence of those officials who are elected by their communities to represent the concerns of their constituents.

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