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    Letter to N.Y. town supervisors re: Article X threat to home rule  

    The New York State Coalition of Concerned Citizens have come together to get the word out to all NYS municipality officials and citizens regarding the upcoming legislation, known as Article X, and the importance of maintaining Home Rule in our state. We have sent a letter to all NYS Supervisors, encouraging them and their respective boards and citizens, to contact and inform Governor Spitzer, Senate Majority Leader Bruno, Senate Energy Chairman Wright, and all their representatives that we simply refuse to have our right of Home Rule stripped away through the adoption of Article X.

    New York State has always prided itself on being a Home Rule State. The fact is that citizens can only create the kinds of communities they want to live in 20, 40, & 60 years down the road, if they remain authorized and empowered to make decisions for themselves as to what is best for their communities. We simply can not allow what would be a gross loss of our freedoms, nor the massive land grab of our countryside that is the driving force behind the whole issue. Please write your representatives today and tell them to say NO to Article X and the loss of Home Rule.

    February 22, 2008

    Dear Town Supervisors, Town Board Members, & Interested Members of the Public,

    As you know, Governor Eliot Spitzer, has called for the New York State Legislature to revise and re-establish Article X (10) of the NYS Public Service Law, which would establish a new siting and permitting process for energy facilities in our state. It appears that bills to be introduced in the 2008 legislative session will over-ride current “Home Rule” authority, wherein the State of New York will acquire the authority to supersede municipal planning, zoning, and decision-making regarding the siting of these energy facilities. Therefore, it is imperative that you immediately contact your NYS representatives, and let them know that you vehemently oppose the loss of Home Rule.

    Once the New York State budget is finalized, we expect Article X to emerge as a prominent political issue in Albany. To counter the looming threat that our municipality’s right to make decisions for themselves will be stripped away with the passage of Article X, we are strongly encouraging all NYS municipalities to take the following actions:

    1.) Protest the threatened loss of Home Rule by contacting your State Senator and Assemblyperson, and demand that they DO NOT SUPPORT Article X legislation which would over-ride Home Rule. ( www.nysl.nysed.gov/ils/legislature/legis.html )

    2.) Contact the Association of Towns to notify them of your concerns so that they can represent you in Albany in regards to this issue. ( www.nytowns.org )

    3.) Adopt and/or strengthen your local zoning ordinances for utilities, emphasizing local planning jurisdiction.

    4.) Most importantly, in order to protect our right to self-governance under Home Rule, adopt legislation that refuses to recognize Constitutional “Rights of Personhood” – which were instituted by our founding fathers and intended solely for individuals who are citizens of these United States, to any & all corporations thinking they can do business in our communities by usurping our right to decide for ourselves. (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund: www.celdf.org – see ordinances)

    The question is: Who gets to decide? New York State has always prided itself on the fact that it is a Home Rule State. Citizens can only create the the kinds of communities they want to live in 20, 40, & 60 years down the road, if they are authorized and empowered to make decisions for themselves regarding what’s best for their communities. To allow NYS representatives, who were elected to protect and serve us, to suddenly strip away Home Rule, thus enabling this immense land grab, is a blatant continuation of a downward spiral of rights removal.

    Please – do not delay! Contact Governor Spitzer, Senate Majority Leader Bruno, Senate Energy Chairman Wright, and all your elected representatives, and let them know we simply refuse to have our right of Home Rule stripped away!

    Sincerely,

    New York State Coalition of Concerned Citizens

    Examples of effective legislation already adopted in New York & other U.S. townships, that were specifically designed to safeguard their communities’ rural heritage, safety, quality of life, and right to maintain local control can be viewed at: www.wind-watch.org/category/ordinances/ and www.celdf.org (see ordinances).

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