Feb. 10, 2010: Who pays for this organization?

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To The Editor:
I have been a taxpayer in the Town of Middletown for over 30 years, and a reader of your paper for much longer than that. I have often seen articles in your paper about a group called the “Coalition of Watershed Towns,” and have wondered about it for many years. I see that this group lost a lawsuit to prevent the City of New York from purchasing land in the watershed.
Is the “Coalition of Watershed Towns” funded privately, or funded via our property taxes? How did they pay for the lawsuit? Is the group a governmental organization or a political action group? I ask because from what I’ve seen in the past, the actions of this group seem to be more in tune with the Chamber of Commerce and real estate developers than with the interests of the taxpayers and residents.
I have been quiet about it for a good number of years now, because I was not a registered voter here, but now that I am, I want to know exactly who constitutes this group and how it is funded, because as a taxpayer, and now as a resident voter, I see many of the actions of this group as being contrary to the interests of property owners and taxpayers, and I intend to be vocal about it, especially if this group is being funded by my tax dollars.

John Cerullo,
Margaretville