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Eminent D'oh! main

April 17, 2006

Option: Download and watch this video clip of “Eminent D’oh! main” in Quicktime format (01:36 min. | 2.3 mb).

Video transcript:

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “…Not seeing anyone. We will close citizen participation.”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Mr. Mayor? Can I make a comment on Mr. Wintermeier’s comments?”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “Sure.”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “I would just like to point out to the public that Regus, who’s trying to, to, to, who currently I think has a lease with Greentree Realty has never come to the Village of Croton one time to apply for a special permit to open their facility. In fact, what they have done is try and circumvent and supercede the Village of Croton by going to a federal transportation board for their permit. And in fact, that if any entity whether its Regus or anyone else opens up down at that facility, nothing will ever preclude them from going to that transportation board again to try to supercede local, county and state DEC regulations. They’ll be able to apply. So, they haven’t come here. They haven’t asked us to open up. They went over our heads. They didn’t even have the decency to come here and apply here and see if we would let them open. So, keep that in mind as we move forward with Regus/NIR. Thank you.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “I think that it should be pointed out that the eminent domain procedure is about a public good, for building a DPW facility.”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “I agree with that.”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “Okay. Um, with that we move on to approval of minutes.”

Related: “D’oh!… from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”

On April 20, 2006 9:07 AM, weewill said:

Unless I’m missing something very important here, Binford’s question is a good one. What would be the downside of trying to find out what the site owners view as the land value? Why not go directly to the source and ask Andreas Grushon, David Steinmetz, Kenneth Gunshor, or Greentree what price they consider reasonable? Then we compare our appraisal with theirs to see just how much of a battle we might be facing.

As Binford wrote “we would at least then know what the worst case cost would be”. We’d have a more realistic idea of land value by projecting a “mid-point” between the two opinions. Then we could better estimate legal costs, disposal, remediation, demolition and reconstruction fees to more realistically prepare for the fight ahead.

Perhaps the Mayor, Village Attorney and Board Members have already done something similar in executive session but just haven’t shared it with the public. It sure would raise our comfort level to be assured they have much more information than they’ve shared to date. As of last Monday’s meeting there appeared to be too many “unknowns” to proceed further with the process without the expert advice the board has agreed to enlist.

Worst case scenario would be to halt the process at this point until much more is known. It’s unwise to creep along with isolated baby steps unless we have a reasonably realistic view of the consequences. When we have that information in hand and if we’ve missed important deadlines, we can always re-initiate condemnation proceedings then if the facts support it. What we should not do is reach a point of no return and realize we’ve missed some important details along the way.

Georgianna Grant

On April 19, 2006 4:02 PM, Binford said:

Has anyone bothered to ask Greentree or Regis what THEIR appraiser says the property is worth? Maybe the Mayor can make this one exception to his “I’ll never negotiate” rule. We would at least then know what the worst-case cost would be.

Has anyone seen the actual apraisal done for Croton or is it a confidential document? Village residents paid for it. The assumptions in that appraisal are key. If the appraiser assumed that the “highest and best use” was NOT as a C&D-transfer station then of course the appraisal would come in low. The courts will decide if that assumption is valid—not the appraiser.

On April 19, 2006 3:26 PM, Just The Facts said:

Once again Mr. W. and Trustee Brennan demonstrate their complete lack of understanding regarding ED.

Answer me this question, when a JUDGE (and not the town’s selected Appraiser) sets the price for this property, how exactly favorable do you think it is going to be to the village to have repeated statements made at Board meetings that this process is being undertaken “to prevent an unregulated entity from establishing operations” as opposed to “for a demonstrated and needed public purpose”.

Trust me, in a few years, these thoughtless and knee jerk responses made by Trustee Brennan will come back to cost the village dearly. At least Trustee Gallelli has the sense to phrase this in the proper context.

On April 19, 2006 10:03 AM, weewill said:

Port Chester business owners lose property-seizure appeal” by LIZ SADLER, THE JOURNAL NEWS, Original Publication: April 19, 2006

…”A state Supreme Court case to determine the value of the property is pending.”…

As people so often do—to emphasize a point—they quote from local news stories on a topic.

The above quote is taken from an article in today’s Journal News about an eminent domain condemnation proceeding in Portchester that has been winding its way through the legal morass (and expense) of multiple courts for the past 6 years. One can see from the quote, the real and true market value of the property is yet to be determined.

And therein lies the frightening aspect of Croton’s ED condemnation process relative to 1A Croton Point Avenue.

Keep in mind that the stated 5 million dollar appraisal is only the tip of the iceberg. Stand by and be ready dig deep for the costs ahead. The guesstimates of 20, 30, 50 million dollar price tag may not be so far wrong!

Georgianna Grant

On April 19, 2006 8:18 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

I see we are back to the dog and pony show again, where Mr. Wintermeier sets the stage for Dr. Schmidt, or Trustee Brennan to make an obviously rehearsed statement. I am not sure where Mr. Wintermeier’s logic comes from, but he surely uses a very convoluted process to reach his conclusions, and he never fails to take a pot shot at the Democrats (though he claims to be non-partisan). Ann Gallelli is clearly someone who carefully thinks through all issues in a given situation and tries to portray the broadest view possible to the public - something Messers Wintermeier and Brennan should try doing.

On April 18, 2006 10:52 AM, TeaDrinker said:

Editor’s note: Thanks for your comment payman. Please find the video clip and its transcription below.

Option: Download and watch this video clip of “Eminent D’oh! main” in Quicktime format (04:05 min. | 4.2 mb).

Video transcript:

Bob Wintermeier: “Bob Wintermeier 43 Radnor. I’d be remiss this evening if I didn’t make some comments about the eminent domain discussion that took place earlier.

Ah, during the election I had several people come up to me saying they were pleased with the fact that we had closed Metro Enviro. One of the women lives down on Maple Street and she was concerned because now the truck traffic was down. She could actually get out of her driveway.

Ah, another woman came up and said make sure you keep their feet to the fire. She asked why do you put up with all of the aggravation you have to put up with on the blog and other places. She said make sure if you’re going to continue that you keep their feet to the fire. Their feet are those people who are opposed to this eminent domain activity.

And let me tell you, its a pain in the chops to sit here time and time again to come up before this board and try to defend the eminent domain. Especially when people are running around and talking about the cost being thirty to fifty thousand, no, fifty million dollars. It was nowhere near that. Voters were misled in that regard. That was a scare tactic. I listened to the discussion then.

And the other thing is we also know we have—I sat in on the meeting with Ken Kraft. We know there is a need for a DPW building. He showed you the cracks in the building down there. Ah so, we know—there’s also a need for centralization. So, we’ve got a need, we’ve got a place.

This evening, Ms. Gallelli talked about a lot of Q’s and A’s. Now that might have been interesting but somehow that’s in fact a delaying tactic to try and put off what could have been done this evening—which is a resolution. The ah, and that puts everyone else under the gun. Now they’ve got to work twice as hard because we didn’t reach a conclusion this evening.

I don’t know if I am reading the same papers that the rest of you are reading, but when I look at anything related to Regus and NIR, I see that they’ve got violations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, in Ohio, over and over and over again. Are these the people that you want to negotiate with? In fact, I was criticized for using in quotes the n-word, negotiate. I am against negotiation with Regus. I believe that there will be a dilemma that will bring us right back to the old Metro Enviro situation. So, I am opposed to that and I don’t understand why the rest of this board cannot reach a conclusion, come to a conclusion on this eminent domain. Its in the best interest of this village and we should not have to put up with this any further.

Ah, I don’t understand and I would love to hear somebody else say why we can’t proceed with the resolution as it was proposed this evening. If we don’t, if we don’t finish this eminent domain situation, we’re going to go backwards. We are going to be fighting another Metro Enviro situation a few years from now. We’ll be taking a step backwards and I certainly hope that based on the feedback from the people who have talked to me and the comments that I have heard this evening that we’ll get this thing behind us fast and end up with a resolution.

With regards to Ms. Gallelli, I have to admit, she has never taken a position. That has been the problem between Ms. Gallelli and myself. I know that Greg had thought that perhaps she had made some position. She lists, if you look at anything that Ms. Gallelli has proposed is a laundry list of options. She always lists options. I wanna know what the solution is. And you have to you know dig your heels in and take a stand on one of these things. I certainly hope that this board has the guts to sit down and dig their heels in and make sure that we fulfill this eminent domain situation and make sure that Regus does not show up here. Thanks.”

On April 18, 2006 8:54 AM, SSmith said:

could the editors of the blog please post or run the video of mr. wintermeier’s comments from last night’s meeting? I think it would provide a good preface to mr. brennan’s comments which seem odd on their own.

the service the blog provides by running pertinent portions of the board meetings for those of us who can not attend or who do not have the time to watch on tv is invaluable. keep up the good work!!!

also, i think ms. gallelli is correct that a public need must be identified BEFORE the property to be taken is identified. i think mr. brennan should be careful how he words his comments in regard to this very touchy subject.


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