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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Don't know who all saw this. Basically the commissioners are asking us AGAIN for our input on an expensive proposition. Buying more land to make "public".

    The questions will be (imho) what does "public" mean... are they going to use it to expand roads like it sounds like one commissioner is saying ("improve infrastructure") or are they going to use it to buy large amounts of land which will be left pristine for hiking, camping, outdoor... etc (the way we want them to use it)

    Remember the last time they asked for the community voice they got it in a resounding "hell no" in regards to the Monroe NCC campus, and they approved it anyway.


    Monroe County commissioners want referendum on $35M open space bond

    David Pierce
    By David Pierce
    Pocono Record Writer
    September 06, 2012

    Editor's Note: This story has been correct to attribute a comment commercial Realtor Michael Baxter.

    Monroe County commissioners will put a $35 million open space bond referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot if the land preservation project can be "fused" with economic development.

    That's what Monroe County Commissioners Chairman John Moyer told a capacity audience during the commissioner's meeting Wednesday.

    The three commissioners are working on wording for the nonbinding voter question incorporating both concepts, and hope to approve it at their Sept. 19 meeting.

    "Hopefully we can spend the next week fine-tuning this," Moyer said. "It's not often all three of us agree on something."

    Several land preservation and business development officials asked how job creation and open space acquisition would be combined and how much of a $35 million bond, spread over 10 years, would go to each.

    "It's a concept that needs to be brought together and integrated," Moyer said. "It's a work in progress."

    He said the bond, depending on interest rates when the money is borrowed, would cost the average property taxpayer about $28 per year.

    Successful effort

    Attorney Alan Young said both concepts are being incorporated into an update of the county's comprehensive plan that he and others are writing. His committee has held 15 meetings on the plan, incorporating future land uses and proposed zoning changes to encourage them.

    "We have in the past had a very successful open space effort funded by the county and matching funds," Young said. "We hope that will continue."

    Voters approved a $25 million open space bond in 1998 that, combined with a $7 million county appropriation in 2009, was used to help buy and preserve at least 16,000 acres from development.

    Open space advocates have lobbied the commissioners to approve a new voter referendum.

    "We're not here to push, only to encourage and support," Ellen Lott of the Nature Conservancy and Monroe County Citizens for Open Space told commissioners.

    Resident Mary Ann Kowalyshyn asked, "Why the rush?" to consider a new open space bond.

    Connecting properties

    Gary Bloss, who serves on the Stroud Regional Open Space Commission, said the new concept would be "not so much acquiring properties as connecting the properties we already acquired."

    Emphasis would be placed on acquiring acreage that connects one open space parcel to another.

    "It's going to make the community a healthy environment that is going to attract the jobs and economic development," Bloss added.

    Monroe County has lost some business prospects because the area didn't have sufficient road or utility infrastructure to meet their needs, commerical Realtor Michael Baxter said.

    Greater Poconos Chamber of Commerce President Bob Phillips asked about the ratio of spending that would go to economic development.

    Moyer said that hasn't been determined, but voters will have enough information by Election Day to make informed decisions on the referendum. Perhaps committees on open space and economic development would jointly decide spending priorities, he said.

    Commissioners will abide by vote

    Commissioner Charlie Garris said majority commissioners initially rejected an open space bond but decided to take another look after meeting with Nature Conservancy of Northeastern Pennsylvania Director Bud Cook. Commissioners want the county planning office and Pocono Mountains Industrial Development Authority to work more closely together on job creation, he added.

    Garris and Commissioner Suzanne McCool both said the commissioners will abide by the result of the nonbinding referendum.

    "The people of the county, given the right information, should be able to vote this up or down," Garris said.
    The first vehicles normally on the scene of a crime are ambulances and police cruisers. If you are armed you have a chance to decide who gets transported in which vehicle, if you are not armed then that decision is made for you.

    Be prepared, because someone else already is and no one knows their intent except them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    West End, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Typical election year Polito speak.

    Nonbinding means it may or may not be acted on. Basically "public opinion".

    Then the commisioners say they will abide by the results when we know they don't have to or want to? And McCool .... if I remember right .... wasn't she one of the two commisioners that passed the NCC funding, inspite of the public's vote of no on a BINDING (meaning they are bound to respect our vote) referendum?

    Until I know what the money would be spent on, I'm voting no, even though my opinion doesn't matter.

    We need more then 3 people to goveren this county, and McCool shouldn't be one of them.
    “When a man cannot chose, he ceases to be a man.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    127.1.1.1, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Bet they won't let you hunt on it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Pocono`s, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstndsecond View Post
    Bet they won't let you hunt on it.
    Actually in my township in Monroe most open space we have either bought, been donated or have purchased the development right to is able to be hunted.

    When you it costs over 10K a year X 18 years and 2 kids a house to educate kids if we can buy 10 acres for 30K now and stop 5 houses from being built we saved a boatload and preserved the land.

    I can't say what the county actually does but we have gotten money from the county to preserve land. We work with a regional open space committee that ties open space together. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of our township land has been saved from development.
    PS: the PA game commission enforcing the hunting regs on township property in Chestnuthill

    When it comes to our county government though I don't trust them.





    *
    Last edited by Exbiker; September 9th, 2012 at 05:34 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Pocono`s, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Quote Originally Posted by Arrdy View Post
    Until I know what the money would be spent on, I'm voting no, even though my opinion doesn't matter.

    We need more then 3 people to goveren this county, and McCool shouldn't be one of them.
    In our township open space money sits in a dedicated account and can only be spent on OS.

    I agree on the number of county commissioners and at both the county level and township level of supervisors there should be 5 people sitting on the governing boards.

  6. #6
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    Monroe county, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Quote Originally Posted by Exbiker View Post
    In our township open space money sits in a dedicated account and can only be spent on OS.

    I agree on the number of county commissioners and at both the county level and township level of supervisors there should be 5 people sitting on the governing boards.
    Would explain the rationale behind this position?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    My initial response is a no only because I hear "bond" and I think of another loan that you and I will need to pay. If its public land that can still be used publicly ie hunted, and it will limit housing growth along with demands on education, then it may be a worthwhile investment.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Pocono`s, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Quote Originally Posted by twoguns View Post
    Would explain the rationale behind this position?
    From what I've witnessed you tend to get a broader perspective with 5 and also the fact that because of conflicts of interest and needing to abstain from votes occasionally along with sometimes being absent 5 seems to make things smoother.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    POCONO MOUNTAINS, PENNSYLVANIA, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    BIG NO ! Public Opinion wanted My A$$ !

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Monroe county, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: "Open Spaces" vote in Nov

    Quote Originally Posted by Exbiker View Post
    From what I've witnessed you tend to get a broader perspective with 5 and also the fact that because of conflicts of interest and needing to abstain from votes occasionally along with sometimes being absent 5 seems to make things smoother.
    Ok, got it. However, my first question about adding more commissioners would be, what is the cost? Can that "broader perspective" of which you speak just add more dissension to the proceedings? My position leans more toward the idea that less action on the part of government is better. Fewer government employees means lower cost of gov and less chance for gov to interfere with commerce, private property, and individual rights.

    I also question the validity of the comparison you make re: single family housing requires more school expenses. It does not necessarily follow that any property sold will automatically be sold to families with children or even families with children that will access and use the government schools. Once gov declare property off limits to development, the gov must pay to perpetually maintain that property. It will bring no revenue to the community from that point forward.

    The issue of schools and the exorbitant cost to operate them is a much larger issue and deserving of much more than a Malthusian view. Frankly, I would like to see gov out of the education business. It is just one more area where they have failed and the market could provide a better alternative if gov got out of the way.

    A bond is a debt and debt is a major contributing factor to what is killing this economy. Too much gov debt and too much personal debt.

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