Orange County, New York, lawmakers have approved a proposal that will let voters decide whether a fast-growing Hasidic village can expand into a more independent town. The Orange County executive supports the effort.
The 18-3 vote Thursday night puts a referendum before town voters on November 7 about the fate of Kiryas Joel. In July, Kiryas Joel officials and two groups — United Monroe and Preserve Hudson Valley— announced an agreement to allow the village to politically separate from the Town of Monroe and form the Town of Palm Tree, which would contain Kiryas Joel and 56 acres from Monroe. Republican Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus says he is happy legislators voted as they did.
“You have all those different sides, the Hatfields and McCoys, so to say, completely polarized for the last decades, come together and make an agreement, it’s very hard to say, ‘no, we’re not going to give you the opportunity to vote.’”
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