Green group blasts review board resolution

Sheehan says Monroe is using taxpayer dollars to attack a state agency.

"This is not their job," Sheehan said. "They are supposed to be advising other government officials as to how the park agency is doing its job, and that's why they have a budget from the state and that's why they get money from the 12 counties. Instead, they're second-guessing the towns that have all approved this project and the 20 million New Yorkers who approved the open space plan. We think this is shameful."

Monroe says there's no conflict of interest regarding the hunting club he belongs to, noting that the law only requires him to recuse himself if there's a financial interest at stake.

Additionally, Monroe notes that as executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, he doesn't actually vote with the board.

"I don't have a vote - I'm the executive director," he said. "So there's nothing for me to recuse myself from with respects to a vote."

In responding to the council's claim that he's using taxpayer dollars to attack a state agency, Monroe says the state purchase of Adirondack land is a major concern for local governments.

"This is an important issue for local government," he said. "I don't think I would be doing my job if I didn't bring this to the attention of the review board. I brought it to them - they could have said no we don't think you're correct on this and we're not going to support any resolution. They passed it unanimously."

Monroe contends that a state government attempting to deal with mounting fiscal problems shouldn't be acquiring land inside the park - especially as Gov. Andrew Cuomo grapples with 9,800 potential layoffs.

Brian Houseal of the Adirondack Council says that the 26 towns whose communities will be affected by the Finch fee acquisition approved the deal back in 2007.

He says the parcels in question were identified by the public as high priorities in the state's official Open Space Conservation Plan. Houseal contends that the review board is second-guessing "everyone else's careful decisions."

In a related story, the Franklin County Board of Legislators unanimously passed a resolution last week opposing the state's pending purchase of former Finch lands and acreage near Follensby Pond.

The resolution is nearly identical to the review board's January resolution.

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