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Ramapo residents are paying the price for a crime they did not commit as the town once again considers selling preserved land and residential homes.

An audit of town finances discovered that Ramapo has amassed a debt of $8 million, much of which was incurred during former Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence’s rocky tenure.

St. Lawrence was convicted of 20 corruption-related charges last year after lying about the town’s financial state to receive a better credit rating. The Town reportedly spent nearly $100 million on land purchases during his 17-year reign.

As a result, citizens will be shoved out of their homes and wooded land will turn to concrete as the town seeks to fill its coffers and correct corruption.

Ramapo officials first began to sell off land several years ago when the deficit had reached $14 million, largely due to the cost of building the Rockland Boulders baseball stadium, spearheaded by St. Lawrence. The stadium has since been a complete failure, generating nowhere near the revenue St. Lawrence promised.

And of course, town residents, who voted against erecting the stadium in the first place, were stuck with over half of the $58 million construction bill.

Ramapo has a long history of corrupt officials abusing taxpayer dollars, including now-retired police chief Peter Browner and Chief Building Inspector Anthony Mallia. Though law-abiding taxpayers can’t catch a break, Browner and Mallia will never have to serve even a second of jail time.

And while St. Lawrence was sentenced to just 30 months in prison for his crimes, Ramapo residents will suffer the consequences of corruption for much, much longer.

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