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Revisionist History

July 9, 2005

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I'm not at all surprised that former trustee Grant has made such a valiant attempt to defend her actions and those of the prior board with respect to MetroEnviro. It was only a matter of time.

To try and convince residents that the village's seven year pattern of making excuses for the operation was actually a well-planned legal strategy instead, however, is hysterically ludicrous. The village's case was built entirely by the federal monitor's discoveries and reports, and not a single action by the board.

The record is clear. Few violations brought to the board's attention by residents, even when accompanied with a videotape, were acted upon by the prior board. Fortunately for this village, residents had someone else they could turn to--the federal monitor Walter Mack.

The most recent example of the village's failure to act upon violations brought to its attention can be found in my letter to the Gazette this week. Sadly, there are far too many others.

MetroEnviro was a mistake from day one. As former MetroEnviro citizen monitor and Democrat Michelle Celarier stated in her letter to the Gazette dated February 5, 2003 and excerpted below:

*****

As an opponent of MetroEnviro from day one, I commend the village board of trustees for finally making the decision to deny MetroEnviro its permit to operate in Croton.

However, I was disheartened by Georgianna Grants letter to the editor in the Gazette last week following the board vote. Instead of attacking Deborah McCarthy, whose dogged work on this issue is largely responsible for the denial, Georgianna should have been apologizing to the citizens of the village for her consistent support of MetroEnviro through the years.

Georgianna promised all along to admit she was wrong if MetroEnviro didn’t turn out to be the model corporate citizen she believed it to be--its well-documented Mob associations notwithstanding. But we have not heard any such utterance from her. In fact, we’ve only heard her say, as she did in the meeting, that our judgment was correct in voting in favor of MetroEnviro's permit to operate in 1998.

It was one thing to vote for the facility, as the Democrats did, believing the village had no other legal recourse. I didn’t agree with that position, but that isn’t what has disturbed me most. In my mind, the village's unwillingness to adequately monitor such a potentially dangerous operation after letting it into the village was equally, if not more, irresponsible.

For years Georgianna took it upon herself to be a defender of MetroEnviro (and those who ran it) and to belligerently attack MetroEnviro's critics. Why was she so opposed to hiring our own monitor? If there were problems at the facility, it seemed she didn’t want to hear about them.

Or see them. While the DEC and our citizens monitoring committee were finding violations, she went to MetroEnviro numerous times and never saw anything amiss. One has to wonder if saving face for Georgianna was more important than protecting the citizens of Croton.

*****

Given Ms. Grant's recent comments on this blog, only one conclusion is possible: Ms. Celarier's words ring as true now as they did then.

-- William Rooney



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