Housing Discrimination Can Not Be Permitted In Monticello

Actions by government that are designed to exclude a certain class of people from residing in a municipality or neighborhood are very likely to violate the federal Fair Housing Act.

As an example, consider this description, spoken in a public meeting, by John Barbarite, who is now the Village Manager of Monticello:

"substandard apartments that usually are rented to substandard tenants"

Source: Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Monticello, May 17, 2004, Edith Schop, Village Clerk.

Mr. Barbarite has used this expression in public, in my hearing, more than once while he has been Village Manager. On other occasions, he has used much more direct and offensive language to describe the "types" of people whose presence he believes have caused the economic decline in Monticello, whom he would like to exclude from living here.

In fact, he is presently a defendant in a federal Civil Rights lawsuit for precisely this, along with other evidence of malfeasance and discrimination. Regardless of the outcome of that lawsuit, Mr. Barbarite's philosophy toward zoning and discriminatory enforcement has put Monticello on the wrong track.