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From the Desk of Mayor Dr. Gregory J. Schmidt

March 21, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Election Day is here and I am writing on behalf of current Trustee Jim Steinberg and his running mate, Jose “Joe” Gonzalez. When I was elected Mayor last year, I appointed Jim to my vacated Board seat. I felt he was the best person for the job then and I continue to feel that way now. Jim has proven himself to be an asset to this Village in many ways over the past year.

He established a “Welcome to Croton” packet that is mailed to new residents, opened up pertinent dialogue with AYSO and Little League, and regionally has forged relationships with legislators from the federal to town level. Joe Gonzalez will bring to the Village Board his wealth of business acumen and experience working with large budgets, this along with his willingness and eagerness to move Croton forward will serve the Board well. As true progressives Jim Steinberg and Joe Gonzalez will always represent you, the residents. I urge you to give them your vote today!

I am very proud of the Board’s accomplishments during my first year as Mayor: we reduced last year’s budget increase from 17% to under 10%; we completed ongoing projects such as the one in Harmon that eliminated brown water; we upgraded environmental laws to further protect the natural beauty of Croton; we expanded field space for AYSO and Little League players, we prioritized solving the decades old problem of flooding at the train station and we hired a new Village attorney who takes a pro-active and insightful approach to our Village’s legal matters.

Perhaps the most notable accomplishment, one that I take personal pride in, is the diversity of appointments I have made to the various Boards and Committees that help shape Croton. After careful consideration of all names suggested, I chose residents whose talents and experience would best serve the Village. I never once made an appointment based upon political affiliation. In fact, I reappointed my Mayoral opponent, Ann Gallelli, as chairwoman of the Planning Board, as she was the best suited person for that position at that time. This is a major change from previous years where Boards and Committees were a reflection of the majority on the Village Board. This inclusiveness is what makes Croton great.

Incidentally, Mrs. Gallelli is now seeking a Trustee position and quite frankly some of her comments over the past year, particularly now during the election season, have me concerned about her allegiance to the best interests of the Village. She has flip-flopped her stance on Metro-Enviro several times. She was one of the supporters of the original permit and she supported negotiating with them and their successors even when you, the Croton community, stated you wanted them shut down. More importantly she has been engaging in fear mongering regarding the costs and obligations of the Eminent Domain proposal. Her partisan attitude has not served this Village well. We have to continue moving forward toward a consensus that works best for all, not back to the tired politics of Ann Gallelli.

When I took the oath of Mayor last April, I promised that everyone’s ideas would be listened to, and that as a team we would work together to keep Croton great and work to make it better. I sat as a Trustee on the minority for four years and I always voted with the Village in mind, whether that meant I was voting with or against the majority.

Trustee Kane’s voting record for this past year shows a voting philosophy that reflects a purely partisan based ideology that is not in the best interest of the Village and certainly does not reflect a sense of team work. He has consistently stood against progress and good government; he voted against the budget and would not explain why; he voted against holding public hearings that would provide residents with information regarding Village projects and initiatives; and now he is speaking out against “advice of counsel” sessions, even though he knows these sessions are critical to protecting Croton’s legal interests. These actions are politically charged and do not embrace good government.

It is imperative that all members of the Village Board strive to work as a team. This doesn’t mean we have to agree all of the time, (in fact opposition is productive and good) it means we debate issues, listen open-mindedly to opposing views and ultimately come to a consensus that allows Croton to move forward.

Today, I urge you to return Jim Steinberg and elect Joe Gonzalez to the Village Board so that residents will have board members who understand the necessity of working together towards a common goal – keeping this great Village always moving forward.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Gregory J. Schmidt, Mayor, Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY

On March 22, 2006 12:49 AM, TeaDrinker said:

Dear “Notorc”, Croton Republican Committee Chairman Rob DiFrancesco contacted us around 1:30 PM on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 (election day) and requested that we publish Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt’s resident letter on Crotonblog. Within ten minutes of the chairman’s request, the letter was posted as the third story behind our ledes for the day.

On March 21, 2006 11:56 PM, Just The Facts said:

Mayor Schmidt:

Now that your majority has been disrupted, it will be interesting to see if you truely are interested in “working as a team”, or if you meant that only in so far that you controlled the team. Something tells me that resolutions will continue to be passed on a 3-2 basis, the only difference being that now we can label you the obstructionist…

On March 21, 2006 9:40 PM, notorc said:

It appears the Mayor didn’t log-in and post this himself. Did he send it direclty to the blog? I’m curious. Then again they did pay advertising here.

In any event, I’d be careful about comments such as “free soda anyone?”…it’s a touchy subject.

On March 21, 2006 8:46 PM, SSmith said:

how pathetic and classless it is for a sitting mayor to stump here on election day for his two party mates when he has never allegedly used this blog before.

it is even more pathetic and of despicable character for a sitting mayor to question a candidate’s motives and loyalties to our village just because they are not from his own party.

flip-flopper? hey doc did you call karl rove to ask his permission to use that one liner?

free soda anyone?

On March 21, 2006 4:39 PM, Just The Facts said:

I don’t even know where to start with our Mayor’s statement….

1) “Prioritized improvements at the train station”. Where, when and how? What exactly has his administration done with regard to the parking lot? One relatively closed door work session? Thats priority? How about a plan, how about a deadline, how about some details, how about at least a statement as to what you plan to do and when.

2) Partisanship? Please. If you want to get others to work with your self appointed administration (when you include appointee Steinberg), you need to reach out to the opposition and try and include them in your ideas. It is not the role of elected trustees to bend over and rubber stamp your resolutions just because you constitute a majority. In what universe is this “working together”?

3) Your label of Ms. Galleli’s position as a waffler, is worthy of the leader of your GOP party - G.W. BUSH — which I know you and your buddies at “progress for croton” are trying to hide your affiliation with. Ms. Galleli’s only point is that she believes that the village should hire an attorney with experience with eminent domain to manage something that could conceivably amount to the largest ever single expenditure in our village’s history at worst, and at best still is a fairly sizable expenditure.

4) How about a comment regarding the fact that for the second year in a row, the Steinberg campaign has broken federal laws relating to illegal distribution of materials in postal boxes? Is this the type of trustee we want to put our trust in????

It is my sincere hope that you lose your majority today — then we will see what you have to say about 3-2 votes.

On March 21, 2006 3:48 PM, waffels said:

it’s interesting that on election day the mayor decides to use his computer…e-mail him with a question or concern and he doesn’t do e-mail….c-mon….one more year…..

On March 21, 2006 3:35 PM, Binford said:

Thank you Ann Gallelli and Charlie Kane. Your courage to stand for public office and your willingness to serve our village in spite of the defamatory and hurtful rhetoric of our out-of-control mayor/dictator says everything one needs to know about you.

I was there when Mayor Schmidt refused to shake hands with Mayor Elliott. So much for wanting to work together with those who disagree with him.

And talk about hyprocrisy. Mayor Schmidt says that opposition is productive and good. It is. But he doesn’t explain why he cuts of ELECTED TRUSTEES from speaking at Board meetings when they disagree with him. He has also cut off residents who want to criticize or suggest alternatives that don’t match his own political agenda.

He says that as a minority Trustee he always voted with the Village in mind. I used think that was true—I don’t any longer. Why is it so wrong and objectionable when the current Democratic candidates vote for what THEY think is best for the Village. I guess only Republican’s know what’s best, and all Democrats just instinctively want to hurt the Village. Talk about partisan nonsense.

On March 21, 2006 2:33 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

This is just an example of how duplicitous this new mayor is - inclusive my foot. Unless, of course. you agree with him!!!! I remember when he ran and lost against Bob Elliott for mayor, he was angry, to the point of refusing to shake hands with Elliott and turning his back on him, then having Mark Aarons have an apoplexy at the podium at a village meeting because mayor Elliott wrote a letter to democrats pointing out his administration’s accomplishments and pointing out the Schmidt and his Republican running mates had allied themselves with Maria Cudaquest and her negative politics - something we now all know is true. And Schmidt is guilty of exactly the same negativity he accused Elliott of.

If you look at his list of so-called acomplishments, almost everything he is claiming credit for was started by the last administration, and his budget reductions came at the expense of further improvements at the train station - something he now claims is a priority, but any evidence has yet to be seen.


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