croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

Spin Cycle

July 11, 2005

If at first you don't succeed... Spin, spin, and spin some more.

As a relative newcomer to Croton politics, I was at first angered, then saddened by former Trustee Grant's recent letter to the editor. Angry because her attempt to revise the MetroEnviro comedy of errors truly borders on hubrus. Saddened because she actually believes that Croton residents are so stupid and ill-informed, they'll buy into the fantasy.

Contrary to Ms. Grant's assertions, the village's case was won not because of the prior board's actions, but in spite of them. To now seek credit for the hard work of others fools no one, especially when she defended the operation over and over again.

Her letter just pulls the scab off a seven year wound inflicted on the Village by officials who lacked the simple ability to admit when they were wrong. And sadly still do.

-- Carla Tsui

On July 16, 2005 8:58 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Can you please point out to me where I accused “Mr. Rooney et al” of being the perpetrator of the rumours about bribes? It seems to me the lady doth protest too much.

On July 16, 2005 4:44 PM, dors said:

Mea culpa, Maria. It was you who made reference to Metro taking garbage and not Mr. Rooney in your comments on this blog; July 6; A Great Day For Croton, “…we will no longer be a regional trash can.” You’ve used those words a number of times to get your message across that Metro is a garbage dump and you won’t stand for another dump in Croton, etc. etc. etc. Wrong theme, wrong message, wrong idea. Keeping a TRANSFER station on the existing site keeps people working and making money for their families. That’s the most important theme and the one getting lost in the rhetoric. Mr. Rooney, I apologize for misquoting you. I’ll make sure to double check my sources next time.

On July 16, 2005 2:03 PM, maria said:

I was forwarded the above reference from this blog. I am compelled to respond.

This reference, once again made anonymously, states that William Rooney (This reader was BANNED from Crotonblog for comment spamming on 12/06/05, see “A Penal Process Known as Banishment… Explained”) “et al” accused the previous board of taking bribes. This is patently false. No where has such an accusation been made by anyone on this blog.

There is, however, a comment posted here by Mr. Weale in which he makes reference to having had a conversation along those lines with someone un-named—who did make such an accusation. I have never met Ross, nor has William Rooney (This reader was BANNED from Crotonblog for comment spamming on 12/06/05, see “A Penal Process Known as Banishment… Explained”). We do not know with whom he had this conversation.

This is the second time such “accusation” misrepresntations have been made on this blog; the first claimed that Mr. Rooney accused Metro of taking garbage. This too was false and he found it necessary to correct the record in the Gazette. It is my hope that this second incident will be the last. Thank you.

On July 16, 2005 10:37 AM, dors said:

Brava, Mrs. Smith. I too am insulted by the accusations of Mr. Rooney, et al., that former board members took bribes to keep Metro Enviro open. Inflammatory and ridiculous! The accusers are cranky and whiny because they know their court victory is short lived. A waste transfer station is going to be in operation on that site rergardless of who operates it or which mayor or trustee is in office.

On July 15, 2005 8:50 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Having been out of touch for a couple of weeks, it was astounding to read some of the vitriol penned by Cudaquest, Rooney and a few other small minded people in our wonderful village over the court of appeals’ decision. That they can possibly read the decision and still try to say that the former administration has nothing to do with the positive outcome is myopia in the extreme. Still I suppose if you have invested so much time and energy on the negative street corner, storefront politicking that cudaquest has, it is unlikely that you are willing to even consider giving credit where it is due. And by the way. what happened to her no blogging policy. I guess now Mr. Rooney is her mouthpiece.

I happen to know the Elliott and Grant families very well and to even suggest that these people would accept a bribe from anyone is so ridiculous, it would be laughable if it were not for the fact that a few sad and vile-minded people have hammered out misinformation and accusations to the point that even some friends have asked about rumours. How did the rumour that the Elliott’s had property in South Carolina get started, that they were moving to Connecticut, that people were following mayor Elliott home after board meetings because rumour had it that he didn’t live in Croton. How small-minded can you get when you have to resort to such character assassination to try to get people to believe what you have to say.

And of course, if you think seven years is a long time, wait until the next round of litigation starts. And I know already that the small group of Cudaquest supporters will say it is Bob and Georgianna’s fault, but the truth is that if the law suits would have started seven years ago, we would still have a waste transfer facility and and we would not have had a legal leg to stand on.

On July 15, 2005 11:36 AM, SSmith said:

hey William Rooney (This reader was BANNED from Crotonblog for comment spamming on 12/06/05, see “A Penal Process Known as Banishment… Explained”) - whoever YOU really ARE

i guess i am guilty of looking at the big picture of things. and also guilty of seeing that the ridiculously divisive political climate here in COH is a microcosm of what has been going on in our nation at large, thanks to the likes of thugs and liars like karl rove, george bush, dick cheney, et al.

the fact is that we live in the most cosmopolitan metro area in the world, perhaps you should remember that. i see many parallels given the recent change in our current administration and the circumstances of such. i find them more than interesting and believe that they should be pointed out.

perhaps by doing so, the dangers of following down this treacherous path may be avoided on our local level; it is clear that the national politcal scene is way out of control thanks to the tactics of the “behind-the-sceners” like karl rove.

by the way who is david goldman? and why is HE such an authority on metroenviro? why do you cite his personal obversations of board meetings as such a dogma on metroenviro. who annointed it so besides you?

or mr. rooney, is it that in your world, no one can have a free thought or make reasonable analytical parallels without you agreeing with them first. you see, bushism-roveism has already rubbed off on you. how sad. you do not have a monopoly on rational thinking and free speech. it seems to me that all of your comments are always referencing other people, why is that?

i’m glad you don’t like what i have to say. and i love how you keep insisting that those of us who freely chose to comment here under tag names come from “dark little corners”. i will never “out” myself just because it bothers you. and i’m even more ecstatic that you keep reading MY COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG. it is a fantastic resource for this community.

you know i see another interesting parallel between your kind and the bush administration: the unwavering propensity to keep digging up the past and blaming old boards for where we are today. ross w. is right it doesn’t matter NOW how we got there the fact is we are here, so focus on that. metroenviro is LONG LONG way from over, let’s work on an exit strategy. maybe our elected mayor is counting on behind the sceners like you to do that for him like your friend in the white house does on nearly every issue.

and another thing that you metroenviro victors fail to realize is twofold: one is that most in town have no idea what M.E. is, was or really care. two, now that it is “gone” there is absolutely no way to recover the lost legal bills, court costs, etc from them as they were only a tenant and not THE owner of the site. it would have been nice to get back this “hidden tax” BEFORE shutting them down. well done on your part(s)!!

and if your reading skills weren’t so selective you would have seen that in paragraph 3 of my comment above, i specifically say that I DO NOT CONDONE THE ACTIONS of any boards past or present. and if i felt like you were worth disclosing my personal voting record to you you would see that!

have a nice weekend and i’ll see you around town, i’m one of “the ones lurking in dark corners”. how hitchcockian of you, i love it, really!!

peace be with you.

On July 15, 2005 10:34 AM, TeaDrinker said:

The “truth” about Metro Enviro is at best murky. It begs the question, who’s side of the truth are you on? Thus, the bitter division in Croton.

Recently, in conversation with someone about the Metro Enviro court decision, the person I was speaking with accused Former Mayor Elliot and Former Trustee Grant of possibly taking kickbacks from our beloved waste hauling neighbor… So, thus the reasoning of the former administration’s “williness” to “negotiate” with Metro Enviro prior to our recent Village election?

I’m not sure what made this person say such a slanderous thing, but I’d say that some of the same “say it so it gets a headline” sound bite tactics perfected by Karl Rove have merit in this instance.

So after reading Paul Krugman’s most recent article, “Karl Rove’s America” (requires registration), it dawned upon me why “payman” brings Bush into context when “payman” comments. Bush is a divider, not a uniter and Karl Rove, “Bush’s brain”, better than anyone understands how this works. Remember the “Swift Boat Vets” from Texas? John McCain during the 2000 primary? All Rove. Push polling… he invented it!

No matter what side of Metro Enviro you are on, I’m sure that most people in the town are misinformed to some degree or another about the issue’s past, present or what is now most relevant, its future.

Like Iraq and Metro Enviro, it really doesn’t matter how or why we are there, the fact is we are. So, take some time this summer to think about what our “exit strategy” is going to be on both fronts.

Fortunately, our mayor and board of trustees are much easier to reach than our war supporting President, Senator and Congresswoman. So give a call, in our mayor’s case, or send an email over to one of your most-trusted trustees. Ask them where we are going from here… seven long years later.

On July 15, 2005 9:23 AM, william rooney said:

Payman—whoever you are

Why is it every time the prior LOCAL administration is found to be in error, the wild and crazy antics of Mr. Bush come into play on this blog? It can serve no purpose other than to distract from the poor judgment and costly errors of the prior LOCAL administration—-the consequences of which this village will reap for years to come. And which must now be proactively dealt with. Pretending they do not exist helps no one.

In the end, the following abstracted letter from resident David Goldman, which was published in the Gazette on March 10th of this year, sums up the Metro Enviro experience—and the local political scene that surrounded it these last seven years—best.

Respect is given when it is also given in kind. Sadly the prior administration lost sight of this.

This village will heal only when attempts to re-write the history of the Metro Enviro affair come to an end. Until that time, you cannot expect those who worked so hard to rid this village of Metro Enviro—who placed themselves in the way of genuine harm—to tolerate the revision silently…especially when it comes from dark little corners. That too is only human nature.

I for one do not expect my LOCAL officials to be saints. I do, however, expect them to accept responsibility for the things they do instead of shifting the blame onto the victims of their mistakes.

Mr. Goldman’s eloquent words follow:

To the editor. Going to Board meetings has been an invaluable education for me; it has shown me how democracy really works in the clinches, as opposed to the more theoretical lessons we all learned in school. The Board has to deal with a whole host of issues; in Croton’s case it is a full-time obligation in the guise of a part-time position.

        I’ve known Leo Wiegman for a number of years and like him personally. I do truly appreciate the many years of service to Croton by Ann Gallelli and Georgianna Grant. However I believe the incumbents as a whole have become so entrenched that they have shredded their credibility and the public trust and have on too many occasions-far beyond just Metro Enviro-displayed unsound judgment. I say this conceding that in their minds they may indeed truly believe they have acted in Croton’s best interest. But if that is true then there has been no explanation for:

        I)     The Board’s refusal to date to reveal which Board members voted to negotiate with Metro Enviro even though this is clearly required according to the NY Open Meetings Law. The Board didn't even feel the need to produce minutes of that Executive Session meeting until the public pointed out the requirement.  This from a ticket that espouses Open Government.

        2)     The Mayor’s public advocacy at a Zoning Board meeting for the establishment of a private school in a very questionable location which was followed by the Board overturning its prior denial of a permit. The most offensive part of this has been the Mayor’s insistence that he was merely assisting the school’s sponsors through the administrative filing process.

        3)     The Board’s recent insistence that the Metro Enviro site IS being monitored by village officials when in fact their statement last November severing negotiations with Metro Enviro said they did not feel it was possible to properly monitor the site and didn't trust the company. In 1998 the Board promised the public to carefully monitor the facility, then not only did NOT do so, but also strongly opposed other Trustees who favored doing so. Then the court-appoint federal monitor discovered numerous violations that made the Village’s case but to this day the Board insists, having hired no qualified monitor, that the site is being monitored. Failure to learn from history and past mistakes in this way displays a severe-and utterly vexing-lack of judgment.

        4)     The Board’s statement that it must deal with facts, not feelings. Yet it is the public that has presented the facts to a Board that has historically chosen NOT to examine them. These facts often come from the Village's own legal briefs. (And yes there were a few critics on a relatively very few occasions that went over the civility line; however it is also not ‘civil to obfuscate and misrepresent the truth to the people.) It was the public’s input of facts at a public hearing that clearly showed how dangerous the proposed deal with Metro Enviro was, and derailed the Mayor’s Herculean efforts to sell that flawed deal. A few weeks later the Board was back to their practice of negatively characterizing the loyal opposition, which in fact had originally pressured the Board to look at the same evidence that resulted in Croton’s unanimous Appellate Court victory.

        It comes down to judgment, credibility, accountability and priorities. Political entrenchment and what it leads to are constant dangers to democracy in any country, from any and all political parties. We only have to watch the news to see how dangerous to the public interest has been the lack of proper oversight by supposed watchdogs like the FDA in the matter of Vioxx and other drugs. I gather that back some decades ago in Croton the Republican majority was voted out of office for being perceived as not being faithful enough to the public interest. This time, sad to say as a Democrat, it is the current Board majority’s departure that would serve that public interest.

On July 14, 2005 11:53 AM, SSmith said:

it seems to me that there is so much misinformation and distrubing innuendos flying around about metro-enviro that i frankly can’t separate fact from fiction, and i think the perpetrators of such can’t either. or maybe they don’t want to?? the wild accusations and such that i hear from many residents, who’s information sources and due diligence efforts i seriously question, alarms me considerably.

the fact is that we will never know what motivated anyone who was closely involved with metro-enviro, either for or against, to behave and respond the way they did. and maybe never will. honestly, i don’t really care.

i am not condoning actions of any board members, past or present, but i will say one thing on a human level: if i had to endure the quite personal and often uncalled-for attacks that some on the previous board had to endure very publicly at board meetings and other forums by the same vocal few in town; i would have defended myself and my actions as vociferously too. it is human nature.

and as far as the comment above from ms. tsui i say this: if you EVER FIND a politician who willingly admits when they are wrong well then the world might truly come to an end. you need look no further than the current president, mr. george w. bush, and his shameful administration to find undeniable proof of politicians who will NEVER admit a mistake(or multiple mistakes)!! in fact he knowingly covers up lies with more lies….talk about thinking we are stupid and ill-informed. mr. bush truly lives in fantasy land. maybe that is a requirement for admittance into the republican intelligencia?

those who very vocally bantered for the ouster of metro enviro are sadly showing me, now that they “have won”, that they are in fact nothing but sore winners. how immature. i thought we were all adults. i guess they were never taught graciousness and respect when they were growing up. they certainly have never, nor now, display any.

their small-mindedness apparently has no end.


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