Video of Interest: Bloomingburg Votes Contested in Sullivan County Supreme Court

15




15 COMMENTS

  1. The vote challenges were made by some local redneck anti-semites. This town is in the Pine Bush district which Governor Cuomo and the courts have determined has had regular and constant anti-semitic attacks on their Jewish children.

    The Jews who moved into Bloomingburg are all legal residents of the town who are entitled to vote. The anti-Semites wish to disenfranchise them from their right to vote as a American citizens.

    Their ultimate goal is to keep the Jews out of town.

  2. Not everytime someone is against Satmar is it anti-Semitism.
    Lamn testified that he lives in Long Island, so how can he say he’s entitled to vote here?

  3. Vashti:

    Lamm is not Satmar; he is Modern Orthodox.

    Lamm has two residences; one in LI and one in Bloomingburg. NYS election law allows people with multiple residences to choose any one to vote from.

    The people fighting the Jews living in Bloomingburg are old-time anti-Semites. They want to disenfranchise them and force them out of town. They think Jews have no right to live in “their” town. They believe they can stop people from living in places based on their religion.

  4. Greetings, readers.

    I am among the people of Bloomingburg who supports challenging the voter registrations. I am neither a redneck, nor an anti-semite. I accept and welcome Jews of all kinds—including the Satmar—to Bloomingburg. Furthermore, I accept that the village will inevitably evolve into a Satmar enclave not unlike Kiryas Joel. If not during this election cycle, certainly following the next.

    There are some bigoted people in the village, but they are the exception and not the rule. The impassioned response to Shalom Lamm’s aggressive, underhanded, secretive and most likely illegal attempt to influence elected officials is something that no one—including Satmar Jews—should accept.

    Bloomingburg is a poor rural town and not prepared for imminent change. It was unbeknowingly cherry-picked by Lamm as a site for a Satmar community because the voters weren’t paying attention to what was happening in village meetings. Lamm has brought a massive amount of his own money, and presumably money from other wealthy people outside of the village, to intentionally overwhelm the modest resources of his opposition. He and his development are entering this once peaceful village on the worst of terms.

    To the Satmar who will obviously vote and develop a community in their own extremely narrow and culturally isolated interests, I appeal to you to do the minumum favor of accepting that your neighbors who have lived in Bloomingburg for generations will grow to accept the changes and would like to shop in your stores, walk on the sidewalks with you, play in the parks, drive on the streets and do all things that AMERICANS do together, united.

    PLEASE! I implore you: stop calling us rednecks. Stop calling us anti-semites. Stop assuming that the village is out to get you. This kind of misinformation is divisive and not reflective of the deep faith you claim to have in your deity.

    Respectfully,
    A cautiously optimistic neighbor

  5. This is not unique to Bloomingberg. Local Republicans have been trying to prevent Jewish second home owners from voting in Dutchess and Columbia Counties even though it is totally legal under both Federal Law and New York State Law.

  6. edgarb: Thank you for commenting. My apologies for the calling of redneck/anti-Semites. It was intended ONLY for the few (as you mentioned) that fit it. NOT for the vast majority of Bloomingburg residents.

    Can you explain why Lamm is being accused of claiming there would be less than 296 homes built, when all documentation indicates he was upfront that it would be 296? No evidence has ever been produced that Lamm claimed there would be less. All documentation shows Lamm said 296 from the get-go.

    Also, more importantly, the challenged Jewish voters have been living in Bloomingburg for well more than a month before the election. Why are they being challenged?

  7. The original proposal accepted by the village was for 125 single family “vaction” homes in a deal made with real estate developer Duane Roe. Roe sold his interest to Lamm. How the original plan evolved from 125 single family vacation homes to 396 (not 296) townhouses in the style of those at Kiryas Joel is at issue. For the purposes of understanding the anxiety of many of the people of Bloomingburg, it’s important to distinguish between the difference in impact on a small rural town of 125 single family vacation homes and 396 permanent townhouses.

    The votes are being challenged because the dramatic number of new registrations is incongruous with the limited amount of available living space in the village—even the space owned by Lamm himself. Bloomingburg is a small enough village to be able to easily quantify and qualify the new registrations. Unfortunately, it required both the FBI to intervene and the opposition to the registrations to assume much of the expense to the challenge. If you’re familiar with the process, you should understand that the registrations haven’t been invalidated; they required affadavits and will be revieweed by a judge in light of evidence gathered during the investigation.

    Finally, I’d like to reiterate what I said previously to the readers here who I presume are mostly Jewish. I would never under any circumstances choose to live in a community of bigots and anti-semites. I abhor anyone who who is against Satmar moving into Bloomingburg because they are Jews. I consider all kinds of Jews to be part of the wonderful fabric of upstate New York, Sullivan County and Bloomingburg. I think that there are a lot of people in the village who share my sentiments. After the dust settles and we are neighbors, let’s be friends too. Okay?

  8. Okay, edgarb. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It was very informative. And even if there is room for disagreement, friendly communications is always vital.

  9. ujm: Why must it be anti-semitism? I believe the town currently has a population of about 420 people. Building 396 new homes can easily mean thousands of new residents moving in, especially when you take into account the number of children that chassidim usually have. Many residents like having a small, quiet town, and don’t want that to change.

    There are other issues that go along with it. Look at Ramapo and the issues the school system there had when it was taken over by the Jewish community. When that happens, the public schools in the area suffer, and that will likely end up happening here as well.

    There are plenty of reasons to oppose this that have nothing to do with whether the people are Jewish or not.

    As for the people being residents – please! There is no shul in the town. There is no mikvah. You mean to tell me that Chassidish Jews are living in a town lacking these vital places? Then there’s the fact that there are too many people registered as living in some of the homes that Lamm owns. One single family home has 20 residents of voting age registered as living there! Tell me, do you honestly believe that to be the truth?

  10. DaMoshe: Population growth requires growth in non-urban areas. There is no room for housing growth in NYC. If they followed the law, and they maintain they have, they have the right to build.

    Most of NYC was rural once too.

    The allegation that it was originally proposed as 125 rather than 396 seems to have no basis. All the original paperwork have no indication that it was limited to 125.

    And, yes there is a shul in town. And there are mikvas elsewhere in the county that is within easy driving distance. Stop believing every news story you come across.

  11. Thank you edgarb, facts do override passions and anger.

    I would doubt if the new immigrants to Bloomingburg will be interested in sharing parks, stores, open spaces with the present residents.

  12. it is wrong to claim this is about anti-semitism – it certainly is not – however it is about anti-hasidic sentiment espoused by a small number of secular Jews, perhaps paid by zionist groups, almost all of whom live outside of the Village of Bloomingburg, who waged a campaign of hatred and propaganda against Mr. Lamm and against Satmar. If you look into the matter, almost all of the leaders of the RCC group that is opposing Satmar are Jewish and none of them live in Bloomingburg.

    As far as the claims that the new voters do not live in Bloomingburg, that is a frivolous claim. A close friend of mine, Rabbi Rosenbaum, a scion of the illustrious Nadvorna dynasty, was quoted in the New York Times saying he has lived there since January, as he has full time since he moved to Bloomingburg from Loch Sheldrake, as many other Hasidic families who I know personally have moved there full time from Loch Sheldrake. The home in question with 20 registered voters is a house which was rented by a group of yeshiva students – while it is not a dorm or school housing it is where they dorm, who are also there full-time, as their yeshiva moved there. There are in fact 30 bachurim living there, but only 20 registered to vote.

    The majority of the full-time residents are in kollel and do not drive or own cars, which confuses some of the local residents.

    In addition to the full-time residents, there are many part-time residents, most of who plan to move there full-time once the schools open there, as they did not want to take their kids out of school. According to NYS law, part-time residents are allowed to choose one place to vote in, and these part-time residents chose to vote in Bloomingburg, as is permissible by law. Mr. Lamm himself has been registered to vote in Bloomingburg for over two years and has voted there in previous elections. As long as he does not vote in West Hempstead, he is legally allowed to vote in Bloomingburg according to NYS law. The fact that Lamm, Rabbi Rosenbaum, and other full-time residents had their votes challenged clearly demonstrates to me that the entire challenge is frivolous.

    The Hasidic community in Bloomingburg is extending an olive branch to the entire community, as they are offering a special deal of a 50 cent pizza, fries, and drink to all local residents in Bloomingburg, in an attempt to reach out and make peace with the community – perhaps meeting one on one in person will help build bridges.

    I ask the community not to believe zionist propaganda against Satmar, whether it be from comments here like from zionflag or from the secular Jewish leaders of the RCC who have manipulated a lot of people with their lies. Mrs. Roche’s zeide, who was a frum Yid, is probably rolling in his grave seeing his einikel fight against Torah. The clear facts are well-known that having an Orthodox synagogue in a neighborhood raises property values. Any real estate expert will tell you that. However the RCC lies and says property values will go down. Having more people pay property tax and school tax will make these taxes go down, particularly if the new neighbors are not using public schools. The RCC has twisted the fact that private schools are allowed to take bus service and some other services from the district where the student comes from (I myself live in the Monticello School District, so if I send my kids to Bloomingburg, as I would like to do, the money will not come from Pine Bush SD, and anyway I live too far away to qualify for bus service). However they twist this fact and ignore that the new residents will be paying school taxes as well, yet take on average less than 15% of what a public school student takes. If there are special ed students, there may be more expenses, but that is the same for any special ed student of any religion, and that is a small minority (for example, in Kiryas Joel, less than 1% of the students are in full-time special ed). The new development will generate $6million in new revenue to the school district. If no Hasidic Jews move in, and everyone who goes there sends their children to public school, the most it could cost the district is about $3 million, resulting in a net gain of $3 million. If the development attracts large numbers of Hasidic Jews, as is expected, the cost to school district could be as low as $1 million, or even less, which would result in a net gain of at least $5 million a year to the Pine Bush School District, which could lead either to lower taxes or to more funds for public education. Unfortunately, the hatred a small-group of self-hating Jews, who don’t even live in Bloomingburg, is trying to steal these benefits, as well as the benefit of a new sewer system for the entire village at no cost to the tax payer. An investigation should be made into the RCC to see if they were paid off by the State of Israel or AIPAC or the ZOA to wage a fight against Satmar. It is sad that the hatred these people have for their own heritage and for the faith of their ancestors has caused this village to lose out on opportunities to raise property values, lower taxes, fix their broken sewer, bring new businesses and jobs to the area, and much more. As a believer in Hasidic philosophy, I believe that the fact that there is so much opposition to this development demonstrates that there is a tremendous potenial for holiness in Bloomingburg, and perhaps the last holy sparks are there which will be lifted by the settlement, which will bring the world to a state of perfection and world peace with the revelation of the Glory of Heaven, the coming of the true Messiah, and the building of the Holy Temple, soon and in our days, which shall be a House of Prayer for all Peoples, and neither shall we learn of war anymore

  13. ujm, this is not population growth. Population growth is a city naturally growing, as in NYC which moved up north as time went by. It does not mean foreign people coming into your town and buying up land and declaring it a different type of town. It’s not antisemitism for a sleepy village to want to stay a sleepy village.

  14. vashti_schwartz: no need for you to buy every anti-Semitic caricature. just because they are jews that are different than you does not male them “foreign people”. it also does not mean you can keep them out of your sleepy village.

    and they may buy as much land as they want to and can afford to. and they may build whatever they want in accordance with local law, as they have.

    and cities have no room for growth. new natural growth must occur outside cities. rural areas naturally become more populated from people moving out of cities.