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Croton Dems Nominate Failed Mayoral Candidate Gallelli to Run for Trustee

January 31, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
In a year when the Croton GOP candidates have vowed to continue moving this village forward, the Croton Dems have ignored that message and the message of Croton residents by nominating Ann Gallelli to run for trustee.

At their nominating caucus last night the Croton Democratic Committee displayed not only their lack of creativity but their failure to listen to village residents. The nomination of Ann Gallelli is emblematic of a Democrat Party that is struggling to find their footing. The Republican Party seeks to nominate sitting Trustee James M. Steinberg, 37, and Jose Gonzalez, 48, at their caucus tonight.

Further, Gallelli’s positions on such important issues during her failed candidacy for Mayor and her own tenure as a public official were troubling. They were wrong on Metro-Enviro, had to be pulled into the fight against Millennium Pipeline, wrong on taxes & spending and dead wrong on open government.

It comes down to judgment, credibility, accountability and priorities. Ann Galleli is a decent person and I believe that she is sincere, however the fact that she has sadly become out of touch to both our needs and concerns cannot be ignored.

Additionally, the hypocrisy of the recent misplaced attacks against the current administration for being “secretive” counters the process that I had to go through just to find out that Galleli was running was ridiculous – those in her Party misplace criticism on the current administration for being ‘secretive’ yet they failed to inform the public as to who they intended to run and who they are now running.

On Election Night 05’ Ann Gallelli, the Democratic mayoral candidate, said she wasn’t sure that Metro Enviro was the most important issue in the election. “We ran a good campaign, and it just didn’t work out,” she said. “People like the idea of change, without always examining the consequences.”

The “consequences” of last year’s village election resulted in an administration that removed an unwanted and unregulated entity from the streets of Croton, decreased the tax burden on residents, continued the battle against the Millennium Pipeline, spearheaded formal dialogue with our village’s youth sports programs, earmarked $10,000 for consulting services to enhance the village shopping experience, and blew open Croton’s government so that all residents can and will be heard.

The Croton GOP will be holding its nominating caucus tonight, January 31, 2006 at 7:30. The caucus will take place in the Ottinger Room of the Croton Free Library. All are welcome to attend.

Rob DiFrancesco, Chairman, Croton GOP

On January 31, 2006 9:08 PM, TeaDrinker said:

This comment is posted on behalf of Ex-Trustee Georgianna Grant via email request.

I would rather not engage in debating issues with the new, very inexperienced Chair of the Republican Party, Rob DeFrancesco. There are, however, some glaring inaccuracies in his letter that need to be corrected.

  1. The Democratic Party in Croton is hardly struggling to “find our footing.” Our feet are on solid ground and not drowning in the floodwaters of desperation. Our caucus was attended by well over 100 residents and had more energy and dynamics than ever before. We’re alive and well.

  2. He fails to recognize the end result of the MetroEnviro battle. It was due to the concentrated and courageous groundwork laid by the former administration that it is no more. This young man should keep in mind, we won in the courts and MetroEnviro is now non-operational. Ann Gallelli worked along with the past administration to make this happen.

  3. Not only did Ann Gallelli not have to be “pulled into the Millennium Pipeline” she led the charge along with Joel Klein, a very smart and knowledgeable village resident. Together they notified the then democratic village board of the dangers of the routes being considered through our village. Pulled into it? I don’t think so.

  4. In addition to #3 above, could he not have known (or forgotten?) that Ann Gallelli was one of the major authors and developers of our valuable LWRP that has given us such an advantage in the Millennium Pipeline fight? Without the LWRP in place our arguments would not have been as strong and critical. Because of this one document, we have very significant leverage to be heard and listened to by FERC.

  5. He might be wiser not to touch the issue of “open government”. This administration has failed miserably. Never in my many years actively being involved in village issues have I received less feedback and information from any board. This one is the most secretive and under Advise of Counsel and in Executive session with every important issue. They steadfastly refuse to call upon the many talented people in this village and consistently prefer to pay for new studies and consultants.

Residents are treated like the enemy, not part of the team. The one thing we’ve been told for sure, they “Won’t Negotiate with MetroEnviro.” They fail to recognize or admit that because of the work done by the previous board, MetroEnviro is done, closed, gone away, shut down. So they don’t have to negotiate with them.

  1. “Spearheaded dialogue” with our village youth’s sports? I think not. The only dialogue has been to tell them they were taking away the skate park that our youth fought so hard to have. In addition, they are now considering backing away from the hard negotiated agreement with the county for use of the additional fields at Croton Point. God only knows what the board is “discussing” regarding the long-standing contract and operation of our beloved Sailing School. It’s all done behind those same closed doors.

As an X-Trustee who was present at the many meetings, conferences, explorations initiated, conducted and implemented, prior to this administration taking office, affords me the personal knowledge of just how involved and valuable Ann Gallelli’s contributions have been.

It’s not hard to imagine who feeds young Rob his information but I suggest he check facts before spouting off with undocumented charges and theories.

Georgianna Grant, Ex-Trustee, Village of Croton-on-Hudson

On January 31, 2006 8:05 PM, weewill said:

Stu, This poor kid keeps putting his foot in his mouth. Thanks for pointing out Steinberg’s “failed” candidacy. Let’s not forget that Schmidt lost several times before he finally won. So did Trustee Brennan.

On January 31, 2006 7:28 PM, Stu said:

Gee, I thought Jim Steinberg was a “failed” candidate last year.

On January 31, 2006 2:54 PM, SSmith said:

weewill is right. greg schmidt could NOT defeat bob elliott and only got elected after mr. elliott decided not to run again. does that make the dr mayor a loser too? according to the criteria the GOP “chairman” has ascribed to ms. galelli; i would say it does. what goes around comes around kiddo.

i voted for greg schmidt and i now am very sorry that i did. i wish i could take that vote back. i can and all of you can by taking away his board majority in March. mr. schmidt, as nice as he is, has no clue what he is doing. and he has seemed incapable of learning on the job because he hasn’t.

i actually feel embarassed for the GOP chairman because he is so green he can’t even come to understand how he is being used by this party and this administration. the entire thing is a joke and totally disrespectful to ALL COH residents.

On January 31, 2006 2:45 PM, Just The Facts said:

Lets leave the facts to speak for themselves.

1) Parking Lot Ignorance. Mr. DiFrancesco still fails to acknowledge in his “platform” or in his rants that there is any sort of a problem at the Croton parking lot. See “Croton’s Village Board Can’t Have Their Cake and Eat it Too”.

2) No Progress at Metro Enviro. It is completely dumbfounding how anyone can say that the current board has ” removed an unwanted and unregulated entity from the streets of Croton”. Actually, all that has been done is that we spent hundreds of thousands to close the site TEMPORARILY and be faced with the prospect of an even larger facility reopening on the site.

3) Misleading Claims on Tax Budens. Perhaps because Mr. DiFrancesco does not pay any property, school or sewer taxes in Croton, he is deluded enough into thinking that the current board has “decreased the tax burden” on residents. Any property tax paying adult in Croton knows that this is utter and complete B.S. as all of our taxes have gone up.

Enough is enough, hopefully someone more seasoned in local politics and life in general in the Croton Republican party will come to their senses and remove this immature and inaccurate “chairman”. We all need to live to together, please do not destroy what makes Croton so special in a vein attempt to be the next Karl Rove.

On second thought, perhaps young Rob should remain as “chairman”, it is the best gift that the Croton GOP could give to the Croton Democrats.

On January 31, 2006 2:19 PM, weewill said:

Hey young Rob. You have much to learn. One failed Mayoral attempt does not a failure make.

Your esteemed leader, Mayor Schmidt, ran time and time again before winning.

Please believe me when I tell you that underhanded, mudslinging tactics will not work again. Your adult advisors should exercise more judgment. People have gotten wise. They see this as a “do-nothing” board and many express dismay over having voted for anyone of them.

Remember the yellow flyer you handed out the day before the last election? Remember that it was a last minute, untrue, scare tactic you personally participated in and supported? Remember you knew it was untrue and continued to defend it anyway along with your “grown up” republican advisors?

You imitate them in your letter above. Be assured it will not work a second time. Falsehoods will not go unanswered again.

This village government needs Ann Gallelli and her knowledge and exprience to start the wheels turning again. They’ve come to a compelte standstill under this current administration as they fumble and stagger in MORE unannouced and closed door meetings than regular public invited meetings. We NEVER hear what’s discussed or what decisions are made. Open government? I don’t think so.

As you state, “It comes down to judgment, credibility, accountability and priorities.” Be careful what you wish for young man. Your feet and those of your grown up advisors will be held to the fire this time around!

On January 31, 2006 1:24 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

I think that someone with some experience in local politics ought to let Mr. DiFrancesco know that his Karl Rove style of public attack is unwarranted and unwanted in Croton on Hudson.

To say that someone with Anne’s years of knowledge and experience and volunteerism is out of touch with what is going on in Croton is beyond ridiculous.

And his notion that this government is open and responsive is laughable - what have they given us??? A new tax, made it a crime to park in front of your own home after a snow storm.

Where are the plans for our community center, or does that require closing the skate park first? and now we have more tax money being spent on yet another study to remediate a situation, that they have stalled progress on for a year now. Open and responsive indeed.

Also, Mr. Di Francesco, a caucus is “A meeting of the local members of a political party especially to select delegates to a convention or register preferences for candidates running for office” ( It is not a meeting to approve the chairman’s handpicked candidates as the Republicans are doing tonight.


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