Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Monsey residents vs Mayor

TJN: Residents will gather at a village home tonight to discuss ways to push Mayor John Layne to resign. Layne, who lost his majority on the village board a year ago, has been seen by some residents as exacting revenge by filibustering resolutions he's opposed, and delaying action on measures approved by the new majority. "I think he's angry that he's lost his majority," said Bonnie Caul, who's hosting a meeting at 7:30 p.m. at her 5 Alpha Lane home. "I think he's trying to take revenge," she said. Another organizer of the meeting, Maureen Schwarz, chairwoman of the Open Space Committee, felt Layne was doing more harm than good. "I don't think he has the best interests of the village at heart," Schwarz said, "and I hope we can convince him it would be better for him to resign and not bring the whole village down.....Caul and Schwarz said they were upset about comments that the mayor has made, notably one at the March 20 village board meeting. Layne said if the board decided to sell the two single-family houses on the Valentine property, they might not be happy with the buyers. "That was a sarcasm," Layne said. "Every now and then in government, you have a little sarcasm." He said the majority trustees rushed to buy the Valentine House only after learning that Orthodox Jews were interested in the property. "The broker told us she had other offers," Meyers said, "and she never disclosed who the other offers were from." He said he and Kay were practicing Jews. Schwarz said Layne's comment at the meeting was dangerous in a village that's been scrutinized by the U.S. Department of Justice. Airmont has been the subject of court criticism for not permitting home-based houses of worship, and is being sued by the Justice Department over a lack of zoning for adult student housing tied to religious schools. The village is contesting a federal court settlement over a yeshiva and housing on Hillside Avenue.
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