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Croton's "Mayoral Fakie to Tail Stall" Skateboard Trick

April 24, 2006

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Over the past year, three new skate parks have been built or are under construction in Somers, Chappaqua/Pleasantville and New Rochelle. Additionally, the Westchester County Board of Legislators is now considering another park—open to all Westchester County residents—in Rye.

Meanwhile, local skaters in Croton-on-Hudson are not the ones “stalling” on the rails of the village’s three-year-old skate park, its the one-time park bench underwriting Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt (see “SK8 Croton No More”) who is. Despite calls last year by Democratic Trustees Charlie Kane and Leo Wiegman for the skate park to be re-opened in 2006 at no-charge for village residents—in an effort to boost usage—it sits ominously vacant in tribute to a waste of nearly $150,000 in taxpayer expenditures.

The last time residents heard from the Mayor on the subject of the village skate park—known as SK8 Croton—was on December 28, 2005 in a news story where Dr. Schmidt said “discussions were under way with the recreation department in Cortlandt to transfer the equipment to a site near the Cortlandt train station (view photo gallery and satellite map), making it a relatively convenient drive from Croton.”

More than four months of apparent inaction has gone by, so Crotonblog is forced to ask the Mayor of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, whose administration made to the decision to close or move the skate park, “What’s up, Doc?”

On June 1, 2006 12:57 PM, weewill said:

Because the Mayor and all board members promise to be “responsive” to residents I would urge them all to make full use of email as a valuable forum for response to residents concerns. I would think it was much more doable for the Mayor and Trustees to respond to emails than to have to return multiple phone calls. Email used to be the technology of the future and we all know now it’s the quickest, easiest and best way to alert, inform and communicate with our elected officials. It is the highest and best forum for “open government.”

I respectfully point out that during my long tenure on the board, I certainly was not overwhelmed with emails from constituents, possibly 3 or 4 a week but certainly no more than 15 in any given month. And when I did receive them, they usually addressed issues that could easily be resolved by email. If I determined that a phone call was needed, it was easy enough to do.

I recognize that one can’t be held accountable for a phone call and that email might result in a permanent record of a position. And that’s o.k. We need to stand behind our positions and not be frightened by another disagreeing with us. Responsible discussion and debate serve the citizens best. Open dialogue fosters exchange and interaction and results in better research and final decisions.

Georgianna X Trustee

On June 1, 2006 11:21 AM, Reality Check said:

Time for another Reality Check — and a trip down memory lane while we are at it.

Am I the only one who remembers the constant tongue lashings administered to Mayor Elliott by the ever voluble Maria Cudequest on the subject of not reading e-mail? Who can forget that grating voice…. the sultry toss of the hair over the shoulder…. the rancorous ridicule?

It is apparently acceptable to the “independent” Ms. Cudequest that Doctor Mayor Schmidt eschews e-mail as a matter of artificial policy, informed by a lack of confidence in what he might write to a constituent. Yet when Mayor Elliott candidly admitted that — in the days before good filters were routine — he simply received too much spam to sift through e-mail for the real messages, this was met with never ending scorn.

And that, my friends, is a Reality Check.

On June 1, 2006 9:19 AM, dors said:

As of June 1st I’ve received no acknowledgment of a letter I sent on May 4th to the mayor’s office at the Municipal building.

Can’t say for sure why I never got a call or a note but that’s the update from my end…

On May 30, 2006 3:44 PM, bojangles said:

Has anyone heard from the Mayor or any of the trustees or anyone on the recreation department or in the administration? I keep waiting to see what’s going to happen and get excited each time there’s a change at the park. Last week the tarps were removed and stayed that way for about 10 days. Now the tarps are back on the runs. I think common courtesy demands an answer.

What’s going on?

On May 6, 2006 4:55 PM, dors said:

On Thursday, May 4th I sent a letter to Mayor Schmidt asking for the current status of the SK8 Park. I included a print-out of the above blog as I had heard he didn’t read either the Croton blog or his emails. I wanted him to get a first hand look at what his constituents were talking about. I asked for a phone response or email. If I get one I’ll include it here. We shall see; the weather’s warm and the kids are kickin’ it up.

On April 25, 2006 12:59 PM, Ross W. said:

Thank you for your suggestion Mrs. Smith.

Note to Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt…

Please check your gschmidt@crotononhudson-ny.gov email account as I sent a copy of this blog post to you on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 at 12:59 PM.

Your response to this inquiry in the form of a comment or a Letter to the Editor is always welcomed and encouraged.

Thank you.

text of email message:

“Dear Mayor Schmidt;

Please read this story and reply to me so I may understand the current status of the skatepark?

Thank you.

Ross W.”

On April 25, 2006 12:50 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Did you also send a copy of this comment to the mayor at the village office since he professes not to check the blog, not to read email? I would be very interested to know what the latest situation on the skate park is and what response the village got from it’s insurers about the necessity of a paid employee at this location. If you did not, would you please do so for inclusion in the upcoming meeting agenda so that we might all find out what is on the good doctors mind?

thank you

On April 24, 2006 12:36 PM, weewill said:

What you don’t want to have happen is to drive by the skatepark one day and see all the equipment has been removed and the piles of debris, stone, dirt, cement and asphalt have “grown”.

Has anyone been told just what will happen at that site? Has anyone been given an answer to whether or not it can be used without attendants? Has the idea of free skating been dismissed? Has any one determined for sure that insurance won’t cover liability there without an attendant in sight? Has anyone discovered how other communities magically maintain skateparks with no attendants? Has anyone asked how insurance covers our other parks with no attendants and what the difference is with a skatepark? Why aren’t we concerned about liability at any one of our playgrounds or “water parks” where there are no attendants or life guards?

All these are legitimate questions to which we deserve answers. Not just more of the same. i.e., “we’re looking into it” and before we know it the equipment is gone and the site becomes an even larger unsightly construction staging area.

And this in one of the major gateways to the village! Mayor Schmidt has declared “beautification” as his top priority in village business. Could there be plans for this site that we, the residents, should be made aware of?

Georgianna Grant



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