Assembly candidate Karen M. Bisso demonstrated her lack of understanding of the western part of her district with her off-base criticism of the Thousand Islands Land Trust and similar groups.
Mrs. Bisso lumped TILT in with other land trust groups in calling them the biggest Ponzi scheme in history by using state money to purchase land they then sell back to the state.
Why even mention TILT, which is based on Clayton,? It seeks to preserve and encourage public use of thousands of acres of land it owns or has control of through conservation easements. Contrary to Mrs. Bissos claim, TILT does not sell land and has not used state or federal funds to purchase land that it later sold. Public grant funds stipulate that the property be maintained for public use.
Such misunderstandings are not surprising given the new districts.
Mrs. Bisso is in a three-way primary race for the Republican nomination for the 115th Assembly District seat. She is running against incumbent Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey and David K. Kimmel. All three of them and the Democratic nominee, Plattsburgh City Councilman Timothy R. Carpenter, are from Clinton County.
This is a consequence of the gerrymandering that created a 115th Assembly District, which is dominated by the eastern half of the state but reaches into St. Lawrence County to include the towns of Lawrence, Brasher, Hopkinton and Piercefield.
Mrs. Bissos false allegations seem directed more toward her region of the state with their dislike for state land acquisitions in the Adirondack Park.
Elected representatives on the other side of the district are not familiar with our needs just as elected officials from this area would be unfamiliar with their concerns. Mrs. Bissos inaccurate claims show how important it is to have our own representation.