KIRYAS JOEL - The newly elected town supervisor of Monroe is under fire for a controversial proposal involving the Hassidic community of Kiryas Joel.
Monroe Town Supervisor Harley Doles, who was elected by a Kiryas Joel block vote, publicly announced a push to separate Kiryas Joel into its own town or city.
Opponents say this proposal is just a tactic to allow Kiryas Joel to annex 500 acres of land.
Emily Convers, the former United Monroe candidate for town supervisor, says her party's worst fear is that the town board will let Kiryas Joel have "lead agency," or full authority to approve a proposal to take over more than 500 acres of town property through annexation into the Hassidic community.
She says the land would immediately be rezoned for very high-density housing, which would impact water, traffic and taxes.
The group also says that Kiryas Joel has no desire to become its own city or town and that the proposal is just diverting the public's attention away from the land proposal.
Supervisor Doles says he wholeheartedly backs separating the town from Kiryas Joel and believes it would benefit both communities.
As for deciding whether leaders of the Hassidic community should have control over the decision to take town land, Doles says it's something the board has another week to decide on.