Monday, December 15, 2008

Is the APA Corrupt or Just Inept?

A psychological study of the pathology of the Adirondack Park Agency needs to be written.  It is a truth universally acknowledged that the APA is inefficient at best and corrupt and completely ineffective at worst. Why is it that the agency paid for by New York taxpayers continues to confound, upset, enrage and confuse citizens with interests in the Adirondack Park and the New York State citizens and taxpayers who foot the bill for the agency's operations?  I think the APA and all of the stakeholders - property owners, businesses, the citizens and taxpayers, others -- could work together in a remarkable partnership to really effectively protect and improve the Park.  What great things could be accomplished if there was more goodwill and cooperation and common purpose between the APA and the people of the Park and of this State. Every time I hear a story involving the APA, it has a bad ending.


  1. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Nice post - what a way to promote "goodwill and cooperation and common purpose." Calling those of us who have concerns over rampant development (which is the norm here by the way) names like corrupt and inept.

    It's far from "a truth universally acknowledged." Most people I know, city-slickers and woodchucks alike, support the APA's desire to limit outrageous development and protect our quality of life.

    Most who hold the other view haven't even begun to think of the issues seriously - maybe you should start.

  2. I think you misread my post -- I was questioning very generally the effectiveness of the APA, not people who are concerned about rampant development. I have never heard, from a person in New York City or Otter Lake or Inlet or anywhere else, a substantially positive comment about the APA. It seems that there is a feeling of permanent battle mentality between the public and the agency, which is what concerns me. It never feels like a collaborative effort between the public and the agency. Personally, I oppose most development of the park and in most cases would oppose large development projects, even though it is said that such projects are necessary to the economic viability of the Adirondacks. In fact, I would go farther than that -- I think that there should be a severe limitation of any development in the park and that there should be a major drive to expand the publicly owned part of the Park.

  3. Well, if you've "never heard, from a person in New York City or Otter Lake or Inlet or anywhere else, a substantially positive comment about the APA," then you must travel in a limited, restricted, narrow world. There are many, many of us who who love the Adirondacks, and understand that the APA is absolutely necessary to protecting what makes this region wonderful. We know that the APA is staffed by human beings, who occasionally make mistakes, who, in fact, sometimes alienate people, but that doesn't lead us to question its value, as you have.

    Your reply to the comment above is so self-contradictory, it boggles the mind. If you oppose unnecessary development and want to expand the Forest Preserve, then wtf are you trying to say?

  4. I don't oppose the idea of the APA or the necessity of it, just the execution of the mission as the APA has fulfilled it. Is there really a reverence for the APA? Is it getting better? Anecdotally, I just hear complaints -- it is capricious, difficult, and arbitrary in the way that it acts on permit applications, among other things. What I am saying is that the APA could be more effective, more efficient than it is.

  5. Anonymous8:51 AM

    I think this was a pretty straightforward post and I agree on most points. The APA is absolutely necessary if we want to see the Park maintained and protected. However, as with any organization working with a variety of interest groups, you can't please everyone. Could the APA be more effective? Sure. But with that effectiveness comes more stringent regulations, hence angering some people more while satisfying others. I think the biggest cause for resentment towards the APA comes from the "rules should apply to everyone, but me" sort of attitude. Sure we want to see big development on a leash, but most of us don't appreciate someone telling us what we can do with our own home. It's a tricky job finding a happy medium.

    In regards to not hearing positive comments about the APA, I have to agree. I travel throughout the park for work and encounter a wide range of people and for the most part they ARE frustrated and angry. I don't think this has anything to do with my opnion or that of the author of this blog, it is an observation.

  6. Anonymous9:11 AM

    So you slander the name of the APA based on "Anecdotally, I just hear complaints"? Maybe you should get out of your NYC apartment and start honestly engaging in the questions the APA considers.

    You worry about the pathology of the APA? You should be worry about the pathology of a person who attacks an organization without an ounce of real evidence from 300 miles away and then pretends he really didn't mean to do it.

    Get a clue.