Last night, many of the Preserve Ramapo faithful showed up at the Water Wheel restaurant in Tallman to celebrate the conviction of one of the most disastrous politicians in Ramapo’s long 226-year history. The former supervisor, Christopher St. Lawrence, was found guilty of 20 federal charges of bond fraud and will be sentenced in September. The damage caused by St. Lawrence’s abuses go well beyond those spelled out in the criminal charges that will remove him from the community.
At the gathering, Preserve Ramapo Chairman Robert Rhodes reminded everyone that the process of cleaning up Town Hall is just beginning, and that the organization will continue to work on their behalf. The trials for the director of the building department (Anthony Mallia), lead town attorney (Michael Klein), and director of finance (Nathan Oberman) soon will begin, along with two more trials for St. Lawrence (SEC 22 charges and a defamation lawsuit). And most important is the court hearing for the Ward System (single-member district) referendum vote scheduled in the Appellate Court in Brooklyn. Ramapo needs this reform, which will provide six town board members, each representing a specific district in the Town, and each representing their own constituents. There is no balance or equal representation in the current system. That court battle has been shouldered primarily by Robert Romanowski and Michael Parietti of Preserve Ramapo.
Rhodes concluded with an appeal for continued support by the Preserve Ramapo base of some 10,000 subscribers. There are no salaries for any of the volunteers of the organization, and a lot remains to be done–some of it in courts, which can be costly. For those grateful for what Preserve Ramapo has done in the past decade, and what they will continue to do in the future, you can send your contribution to Preserve Ramapo, PO Box 325, Suffern, New York 10901. We need your help.