December 11, 2013 —
Two residents of the Village of Bloomingburg have filed papers with the intention of removing Mayor Mark Berentsen from office for alleged violations in the permitting process of a 396-unit development, which is being marketed to the Hasidic community.
One of the residents is Glenda Kalodukas, the other is Ronald Scott, a, former mayor of the village. The petition was endorsed by the Rural Community Coalition, which is working to halt the development.
The notice of petition says that Berentsen, along with other members of the village board, approved the development a week after Berentsen and his parents bought property from the developer. The sale of the property could be seen as a prohibited “gift” from the developer to the mayor in light of the fact that the land that was purchased would receive water and sewer service that would be provided by the developer.
Berentsen is also accused of having a conflict of interest because he and his wife bought property in the village through the county tax sale.
Many residents of the village and the Town of Mamakating have expressed strong opposition to the townhouse development, and candidates for the town board and supervisor’s seat who ran in opposition to the development won landslide majorities in the election in November.