It’s Time For A Serious Intervention In Monticello

Writer’s Workshop of Sullivan County

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“Stimulating meaningful thought & debate in Sullivan County without retribution”

 

I’m tired of the bad headlines about my beloved village.

It’s time for a serious intervention in Monticello

 

by Tommie Jefferson

We live in a Potemkin village where beautiful flowers and nice lamps adorn abandoned stores, where people are scared to come to Broadway because no police patrol the street. We plant seeds for flowers, but no seeds for economic growth or good government.

 

Today, if you opened up the landing page of the news section of the Times Herald Record, there were a number of headlines about Monticello:

 

Ex-Monticello manager pleads guilty to misdemeanor official misconduct

 

Monticello woman charged with sexually assaulting child

 

Jenkins says Monticello firefighters are racist

 

I’m a lifetime resident of Monticello.  I was born in Monticello Hospital, went to the Cooke, Rutherford, Monticello Middle and High Schools, and unlike most of my childhood friends, I came back after college to live here and work.

 

I’ve witnessed the village that is so part of my psyche and my life devolve into a state of disrepair, a ghetto of Section 8 housing and an abandoned Broadway, a village where gangs run rampant and where streets and home have fallen into disrepair and abandonment, block after block.

 

It’s just not the economy.  It’s just not that the Borscht Belt died. It’s just not that New York State itself has lost 25% of its residents and businesses elsewhere, where business and quality of life opportunities are much more attractive and living is much more affordable.

 

I’m tired reading terrible headlines about Monticello.  I’m tired of the rampant crime, the rampant political corruption, and the look and state of our village.  Our roads are falling apart, our neighborhoods are crumbling.  Our Mayor is a village idiot and our village board is composed of corresponding dopes.

 

We live in a Potemkin village where beautiful flowers and nice lamps adorn abandoned stores, where people are scared to come to Broadway because no police patrol the street. We plant seeds for flowers, but no seeds for economic growth or good government.

 

Most of us here in the village just throw up our hands and ask “what can we do?”  It’s obviously futile for us to try. Who wants to be called “racist” if you question a stupid or criminal act?

 

The biggest problem: We are too small to be really noticed by outsiders that can help us.  We are too small for the organized gang task forces to come into our village to clean out the shitheads that prey on our village and one another.  Instead, Newburgh, Middletown, Kingston, and Poughkeepsie, the bigger cities with the same problems, get the help, get the attention from politicians that represent us in Albany and Washington.

 

We are too small for our Attorney General and State Controller to come in to clean up the toilet we call the Village Hall.  There’s no way to replace or kick out the Village Board because no one in their right mind would want to run and sit on that board, where the collective IQ is about 100 and where corruption, theft, arrogance, and petty vindictiveness substitutes for good governance, and most importantly, a vision to rebuild our village.

 

But I don’t want to take flight, like many of my friends and family during the last 20-30 years.

 

Instead, I want some action to be taken. I want to take a stand. I want my kids to come back to live here one day.

 

As the headlines in the Record tell the world, we desperately need help.

 

When is the state going to come in and take over the operation of the village and kick out the thieves that our running our village?

 

When are the State Police and the FBI going to come in and rid our village of the gangs and the corrupt politicians?

 

When is the federal government going to come in and start policing how its money is being spent to support terrible landlords that prey on Section 8 tenants and maintain firetrap apartment buildings?

 

When is the state going to come in with some economic help?

 

When are the terrible headlines about crime, corruption, and stupidity that characterize Monticello in 2013 going to finally stop?

 

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Bazzo 05/10/13
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