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We invite the LGRB and Mr. Monroe to the agency to begin a new dialogue that changes the tone and the content of the conversation...

APA chair softens tone

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The Adirondack Park Agency issued its formal response yesterday to a strongly-worded report that called on the governor to reform the agency.

APA Chairman Curt Stiles said a 13-page memo titled "Policy Perspective - October 2010" has been distributed to Gov. David Paterson, state lawmakers and local government groups in the park.

It's a response to the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board critique titled "The Adirondack Park Agency: Under the Influence and In Need of Detoxification."

Stiles had lashed out at the LGRB for the white paper, setting off a firestorm of reaction, and at east one call for his resignation, from Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward.

Yesterday, he struck a more conciliatory note. Martha Foley has more.

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The Adirondack Park Agency struck a conciliatory tone yesterday in a 13-page response to local government critics.

The critique, written by the Local Governnment Review Board’s chairman Fred Monroe, had called on Gov. Paterson to reform the agency.

Monroe accused the agency of overstepping its authority, working in concert with environmental groups and contributing to the economic deterioration of the Park.

APA Chairman Curt Stiles said yesterday he was “troubled” by the way the Review Board’s report portrays the agency. “If one were to broadly categorize the allegations and points made in the white paper, many do not fall under the purview or mandate or the Park Agency,” Stiles wrote. “Many do not reflect practice, policy or circumstance as we know them to be today.”

Two weeks ago, in comments to the Review Board, Stiles took a much harsher tone, calling the white paper inflammatory and inaccurate. He also questioned whether the Review Board – quote — “represents the best interest of local government."

Those comments sparked a firestorm of criticism.  Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward called for Stiles’ resignation.

Yesterday Stiles took a milder tone, and called for dialogue with local government groups in the park. “We invite the LGRB and Mr. Monroe to the agency to begin a new dialogue that changes the tone and the content of the conversation and focuses on reform and relationships with the APA,” Stiles said.

Reviwe Board chair Fred Monroe said he stands by the issues identified in the Review Board's report, but said he’s open to forging a better dialogue with the agency, “What I would hope for is a meeting with APA commissioners, the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages executive committee and the Review Board to seriously talk about these things,” he said. “I know there’s been a lot of animosity as a result of the white paper, but if the end result is it brings about a meeting or is a catalyst for that, it’s better.”

Monroe credited Stiles for past attempts to reach out to local government officials in the Park and said neither he nor the Review Board are calling for his resignation.

 

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