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December 05, 2016
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Town of Tusten

Do you stand behind the town’s current comprehensive plan, and why or why not?

MARGARET HARRISON - Running for Town Supervisor (D/C)

I do stand behind the underlying flavor of the plan to maintain the rural and historic character of the community. When the plan was developed and adopted the recession and real estate market decline had not been truly felt and the full impact of having the school closed had not fully filtered into our community. The commercial business environment has changed dramatically since 2007 and the plan skims over employment opportunities and "other light industry" which would have been necessary components to offset the dissatisfaction with the town's tax rate, which was duly noted in the plan. I believe the priority matrix of the comprehensive plan should be revisited.

CAROL WINGERT (R/I/Rural Heritage) - Running for Town Supervisor

Yes, I stand solidly behind the current comprehensive plan, due to the fact that it was drafted using the input of residents that responded to surveys and a well rounded community committee. It is a premiere example of the democratic process which I endorse and is a living document designed to guide the township in its zoning. I believe it was well thought out and takes into account our rural heritage as well as a need to increase our tax base within the confines of the constituents' wishes.

J.P. LANG - Running for Town Council (D)

No response received from candidate

NED LANG - Running for Town Council (R)

The comprehensive plan as it is currently written is nothing more that a recipe for failure as far as the future economic vitality and sustainability of the town is concerned. I have reviewed it in depth, and have forwarded my views in a detailed manner to the town supervisor to be shared by the board at the next meeting.

The compelling problem with the plan is, that of the five stakeholder businesses in the town, none of them were represented on the committee nor were they contacted for their input prior to the finalization of the plan. If you review the prospective types of businesses in the plan, none of these types of businesses are able to hire and support even a small part of the fulltime residents whom reside here.

I believe the biggest threat that this town faces is not the natural gas industry, or the unimaginable costs of litigation that the proposed zoning laws foster. The threat I am speaking about is taxes! Taxes are devaluing properties, forcing fellow citizens from their homes, lowering the quality of lives and preventing new businesses from forming within our borders. How many of our children can afford to stay or return here and raise their families? The unfortunate answer is: very few. I am not saying that I can single-handedly turn this process around; however you can be sure I will look into every avenue available to me if elected to either save this town money or work with any business prospect to settle and grow here.

NORMAN MEYER - Running for Town Council (D/C)

I believe that the comprehensive plan is a little restrictive because it has the ability to discourage growth.

ANDREA REYNOSA - Running for Town Council (Rural Heritage)

Yes, I stand behind Tusten’s comprehensive plan by focusing on the vision stated in the Town’s 2007 document: “We see our community growing in a balanced, diverse manner that protects its rural character by building on our strengths and historic roots."

We need to develop our community in a way where all boats rise - not rob Peter to pay Paul. Responsible development should be a positive addition that adds to what already exists. The rural character and the beauty of the Upper Delaware River that attracted my family to the area and has led to our interests in farming and organizing artistic and community events has inspired me to serve the public as councilperson to help protect the unique character of our town.

ANTHONY B. RITTER - Running for Town Council (R/C)

Yes, I stand behind Tusten’s Comprehensive Plan.

The task of creating Tusten’s Comprehensive Plan was undertaken by a hard-working committee of current town officials and citizens selected by then-Tusten Supervisor Ben Johnson and the Tusten Town Board, which met throughout 2007. At the time of the meetings, our committee was guided by Dr. William Pammer, who at the time was Commissioner of Planning for Sullivan County, as well as Heather Jacksy, a certified planner who is still with the county. I was honored to be appointed to that committee as chairman of Tusten’s Zoning Board of Appeals by then-Supervisor Johnson.

Our committee met throughout the year and every meeting was open to the public.

After initial meetings to catalog the attributes of Tusten and study its history, the framework of the comprehensive plan consisted of sending the survey questionnaires to each citizen in Tusten to receive their feedback on what attributes Tusten has, as well as what deficiencies the town may lack along with what the general population would like to see Tusten become in the next few years.

Current topics such as the Narrowsburg School, zoning, waterfront revitalization, open space resources, attracting businesses and senior housing were explored, as well as other topics that the general public thought appropriate.

Comprehensive plans are usually reworked by a town every decade, since many factors such as economics, population and social themes, among other topics, change over time. Once legislated into law, a Comprehensive Plan becomes a blueprint for the town that lays the groundwork for their zoning code.

To be clear, the comprehensive plan is not what one individual or one committee wants – nor should it become a political football in an election year. Rather, the Tusten Comprehensive Plan was the compilation of what the majority of our citizens, including those that contributed by answering the questionnaires in Tusten, wanted for our town.

Our current comprehensive plan was approved by our town board in December of 2007.

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