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United Effort Unified Front

September 5, 2005

On September 2, 2005, Westchester County Executive candidate Rob Astorino, Republican, held a press conference marking the closing of the Metro Enviro waste transfer station in Croton-on-Hudson. Not all members of the board were invited to attend. As reported in a recent Letter to the Editor, by Georgianna Grant, Trustee Jim Steinberg indicated that “because Rob Astorino is a Republican candidate, the Democratic trustees were not informed”.


(Download Quicktime movie, 2.9 mb, 1:53)

Both Dr. Mayor Greg Schmidt and Trustee Jim Steinberg recently pledged a “united effort” and a “unified front” with regards the evolving developments concerning Metro Enviro during the Village Board of Trustees Meeting held on Monday, August 15th (partial video transcript and Astorino press release follow).

Schmidt: …”This has to be a united effort and I think the board, the board, its not a matter of what I think, the board is entirely behind this fight”…

Steinberg: …”The goal here is as a united front. The Mayor gave his acknowledgements to members of this board for what they did in the course of the last 10 days… So, the doubt to the resolve of this board when it relates to this issue should not, should not occur”…

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Full Press Release from Rob Astorino, Thursday, September 01, 2005 at 13:16

Astorino Pledges Fight Against Metro-Enviro

Astorino Joins Croton’s Fight Against Metro-Enviro. Candidate demands corporate accountability, defends home-rule

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. — Standing alongside Mayor Greg Schmidt and Village Trustee Jim Steinberg, County Legislator and candidate for county executive Rob Astorino spoke out today on the controversial Metro-Enviro Waste Transfer Facility in Croton, issuing a clear directive to the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) in Washington, D.C., saying “the people of Croton have said ‘No’ to the Metro-Enviro waste transfer facility and their will must be respected.”

The STB is presently considering an application for special exemption from Northeast Interchange Railway, a prospective buyer of the Metro-Enviro facility, which would exempt the company from all state and local regulation.

Astorino, who spoke on the same day a State Supreme Court order will force Allied—the present owner of the Metro-Enviro facility—to cease its operations by 5 p.m., defined the issue as one of local home-rule and of corporate accountability.

“In effect, Northeast Interchange is asking the federal government to absolve it of all accountability and responsibility to local government and we cannot let that happen,” explained Astorino. “Unaccountable corporations can be as dangerous as unaccountable leaders. As representatives of local interest, we must stand up and protect village and county residents, sending a message to Northeast Interchange that the people of Westchester, especially here in Croton, demand accountability from their corporate citizens.”

The legislator also defended Croton’s on-going battle, pledging his support on the home-rule issue.

“Make no mistake; this is a clear case of home-rule,” Astorino continued. “Since 1998, the residents of Croton have made it clear—both through their elected officials and in the courts—that they don’t want Metro-Enviro to continue its solid waste operations within their village. I’m here to join the people of Croton in their battle.”

As a candidate for county executive, Astorino also defended the jurisdiction of Westchester County’s Solid Waste Commission over the Metro-Enviro site.

“Westchester County’s Solid Waste Commission, which is charged with the responsibility of stamping out organized crime among the carting industry, has jurisdiction over the Metro-Enviro transfer site and must stand with the Village in refusing to abdicate that jurisdiction,” said Astorino. “I want to be clear: I’m not suggesting that there is any sort of racketeering operation here either on the part of Allied—the present owner, or Northeast Interchange—the prospective owner. But if the STB grants Northeast Interchange a special exemption, then Westchester County’s Solid Waste Commission will no longer have the ability to monitor this facility.”

Astorino concluded by congratulating Mayor Schmidt and Trustee Steinberg for their successful effort to date in trying to close the Metro-Enviro facility. “These two men have done an excellent job. But the fight is not yet over. The STB, just like the courts, must mind the will of the people of Croton.”

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On September 6, 2005 10:17 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

Now tell me once again, you are saying that Cudaquest knew that the railroad situation was possible AND she spelled it out and nobody listened to her??? And also tell me once again why I should believe the ravings of a woman who is the self annointed critic of the former administration, who does not know everything, and whose every word is colored by her hatred of said former administration.

I prefer to get my information through informed sources such as the village government and the village manager.

On September 6, 2005 6:14 AM, deepsix50 said:

Mrs. Smith Again I don’t know what you keep missing here. She—and OTHERS—-did speak up. do you really think that Elliott and his buddies would have ever listened? When did they EVER listen? They wouldn’t even issue a violation even when handed a videotape of it happening!!!!

Again, all you have to do is ask for the record. As we have. But you never will.

As for the claim that Ms. Galllelli wrote the law that stops future waste facilities, puh-leese! Again you would be surprised how many people had input into that law but again, you’d have to ask for it. And you’ve made it clear you never will. Because once you have seen the record, your views will have been challeneged by the sheer volume of it. But at this stage it makes little point.

Metro is gone. And NIR and anyone else is next. The right board is in charge now.

On September 5, 2005 9:54 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

deepsix, You may be prepared to listen to the ravings of a delusional woman who seems intent on badmouthing Mayor Elliott and Trustee Grant, but I am not. If she had information back then that the chance of what has happened with NIR was a possility, then she had a responsibility to speak up and make her fears known, but since it seems her primary purpose was to harass and spread lies about the two board members mentioned above, her sick delusions and bitterness overtook her credibilty. She will never be a valid source of any information for me.

On September 5, 2005 8:22 PM, waffels said:

It’s interesting how the village is littered with Astorino political signs this weekend. I would be curious to know who put them all over town and If they plan on removing them after he probably loses……

On September 5, 2005 7:05 PM, weewill said:

Does it never end?

The above email from Ms. Cudequest (from last January) is yet one more example of her not knowing what she’s talking about. She should know perfectly well that even though rail spurs might make a site attractive for waste transfer, there is a local law preventing ANY NEW waste transfer sites from opening, operating, or existing in Croton. Since that site is a tire distribution center, it stands to reason that they can’t apply for a change of use that’s restricted by law. It simply would not be approved. That law is thanks to Ann Gallelli and the Comprehensive Plan committe members and the previous boards adoption of that local law.

Additionally, the rr track at Finklesteins tire distribution center is buried under the concrete floor of the enlarged building absolutely non-operational.

Please stop spreading bad information. It hinders the efforts of the village board and administration.

On September 5, 2005 4:37 PM, deepsix50 said:

Obviously you don’t subscribe to the CC email. From 2003. Want the rest? Just send them an email and ask.

——-Original Message——- From: Maria Cudequest [mailto:mcudeque@bestweb.net] Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2003 4:16 PM To: ‘belliott@bestweb.net’ Cc: ‘dmccarthy@mfdds.com’; ‘drgreg412@aol.com’; ‘trusteew@bestweb.net’; ‘grantgk@bestweb.net’ Subject: SPUR FINKELSTEIN

To the Board:

I was deeply disappointed in the board’s vote regarding the Finkelstein rail spur the other night. As I have discussed with the board on numerous occassions, the presence of rail capabilities at waste or other facilities located along the river only makes those sites more attractive to operators seeking to handle NYC waste in light of the Fresh Kills situation or any kind of waste, period. I urge the board to reconsider the amendment proposed by Trustee McCarthy so that this will be a special permit issue.

On September 5, 2005 2:07 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Deepsix, I am sick and tired of the innuendos you and your buddy Cudaquest keep making about the previous board, especially Trustee Grant and Mayor Elliott.

“Stay tuned. Sooner or later the truth will come out. And its not going to be pretty”

If you know something that you think is relevant then come out and say it, get it out in the open, if not, keep your ugly accusations and suspicions to yourself. Ask anyone who is NOT under the influence of Cudaquest and her crew about the former administration and they will tell you how much good they did for this village and how they don’t understand why you and your cronies have to be so personally vindictive.

AND whilst we are at it, ask your buddy why, if she knew about the dangers of the rail spur she didn’t warn the village - she is never usually shy about mouthing her opinions.

On September 5, 2005 1:19 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Samster, please see the article we originally published on May 9, 2005, called Land Grab, about the Katz Property behind Croton Auto Park.

On September 5, 2005 1:00 PM, Pat Barua said:

What is the “Katz deal” that was never brought public? Isn’t Katz suing the Village for millions of dollars too? Was there a settlement offer?

On September 5, 2005 12:22 PM, deepsix50 said:

The courage and tenacity of the previous board? Hah! The ones that approved the Finkelstein rail? The ones that REFUSED to issue violations (Quote X Trustee Grant: “It really isn’t a violation if they fix it”) Puhleese! No one bought it in March and NO ONE WILL EVER BUY IT AGAIN. Stay tuned. Sooner or later the truth will come out. And its not going to be pretty.

On September 5, 2005 11:58 AM, weewill said:

Oh fer chrissake indeed!

If it was Astorino’s press conference, how come Schmidt and Steinberg were therre????

” ..congratulating Mayor Schmidt and Trustee Steinberg for their successful effort to date…” Shows how little Astorino.. Mr. Johnny come lately …. knows!

What the hell have they done? All the efforts and success to date are a result of the courage and tenacity of the previous board.

On September 5, 2005 9:27 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

The premise is the same - you are open or you are not - you can’t have it both ways. Schmidt ran his campaign on open government, so far he has made nothing of this campaign promise, private meetings with the attorney, not bringing the Katz deal to the public, firing Seymour Waldman without discussing it with the other board members.

And your walking lockstep with Cudaquest and spouting anything she says as gospel makes ME sick. $80,000(where-ever you get that figure from) is peanuts compared to what we are facing now and will be facing in the future with the current administration’s no negotiation stance.

You also never mention that the high priced lawyer whom Cudaquest and McCarthy hand picked was the one who wrote the agreement.

On September 5, 2005 9:06 AM, deepsix50 said:

Oh fer chrissake, this was ASTORINO’s press conference!!!

As for Elliott’s meeting with the editorial board, there is NO comparison. Elliott hadn’t EVEN talked to the public yet about the secret negotiations that cost residents over $80,000. You people are desperate, just desperate ever since March 19th. Keep up your nonsense and the local Democrats will never recover a seat, no matter how deserving. As a Democrat myself, I am sick of all the whining. We screwed up BIG time. We did not deserve to win.

On September 5, 2005 8:53 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

Who else can remember when Schmidt sat at a board meeting and publicly berated Bob Elliott for talking with the editorial board of a newspaper without letting him know. Not only Schmidt but every Republican who used to go regularly to board meetings and stand up and accuse the Democrats of secret dealings. You are no different Mayor Schmidt and your pledges of open government ring hollow for many of us who follow closely the happenings in our beloved village.



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