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Town, village at odds over Trudeau annexation process

The Trudeau Institute

The Trudeau Institute

— Van Cott opened his letter by saying that he thought Trudeau’s annexation seemed to like “a perfect opportunity to join with the town of Harrietstown to help an existing, large employer look at its options for strengthening itself in our community.”

Van Cott said he was looking forward to having a meeting with village, town and Trudeau officials to openly discuss the possible annexation. But he was disappointed that town officials would not meet.

“You refused to enter in a dialogue with the Village Board about Trudeau, suggesting the village was ‘moving too fast,’” Van Cott said. “This, even after Trudeau, in an e-mail directed to the village and the town, confirmed its interest in the 3-way conversation.”

Yet all the board members — councilors DeFuria, Bevilacqua, Ron Keough and Nicole Meyette — said it’s premature to sit down with the village and Trudeau at this point.

“They’re trying to start at the middle, and you have to start at the beginning,” Bevilacqua said.

Van Cott said he was “shocked” that Town Attorney Jim Maher “made it clear — on your behalf — that the Town Board would likely oppose annexation, without any discussion with the Village or Trudeau. By taking this approach, in my opinion, the Town Board missed an important opportunity to represent the town in dialogue concerning one of our largest employers.”

But DeFuria said there’s a process that needs to be followed.

“I don’t know how the village operates, but we check with Jim Maher on a lot of things to make sure we’re doing it right, and then we do it right and make sure they’re done right,” DeFuria said.

DeFuria questioned Van Cott’s preparation before firing off the letter, particularly since he is an attorney at the Adirondack Park Agency.

“The guy’s a lawyer; I thought he was bright enough to look up the procedure on how to do annexation, and apparently he doesn’t want to do that,” DeFuria said. “He just wants the town and the village to start annexation proceedings, and we can’t.”

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