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It is Now in Their Hands...

April 28, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Frank Nicolais decision is one that is good for Croton not for Regus, as some in this village would have liked. Regus must now go to the village and ask for a special permit to open up a waste transfer station on 1A Croton Point Avenue. In other words, the village board must first approve of any special permit before Regus can open.

We know how Mayor Schmidt and Trustee Brennan feel about this company and their abysmal record of environmental failure because they have been open and honest with the citizens of Croton. On the contrary, Trustees Gallelli, Kane and Wiegman have kept their cards so close to the vest that we will be entering into a public hearing on this matter not knowing how they feel about this company.

My belief is that they desperately want to make a deal, at least thats what their supporters urge them to do. Those of us who are interested in protecting Croton from this environmental hazard must come out in force on Monday night and let Trustees Kane, Wiegman and Gallelli know how we feel so that they do not make a mistake.

And just a quick closing note to those who say let them open but monitor the heck out of it, I respectfully offer that we have tried that solution and it has not worked. Metro-Enviro was supposed to be monitored but it never was and they ended up cooking the books and totally violating the terms of their special permit. Those of us who look to the Regus operation in Ohio are not stupid, we understand that the Ohio facility was a landfill and not a transfer station. However, looking at the violations of Regus at other sites across the country does offer one a glimpse into the corporate culture of this company and how they like to do business.

We have been burnt before and we can’t afford to be burnt again. Regus has a corporate culture that does not sit well with me and should not sit well with those who want to protect our village.

It is now in their hands. Lets hope they do the right thing for Croton. Thank you.

— Frank Simpson

On April 30, 2006 4:57 PM, Reality Check said:

Hey Frank. This Reality Check is for you.

Like most ideologues, “Frank” misses the point. “He” seeks to divert attention from the real issue with a false personal attack and has not addressed the facts stated in my comment.

I would like to know whether “Frank” (or is it Maria with a new IP address??) thinks Regus/NIR will be content with operating a C&D transfer station with limits on its hours of operation, limits on the materials it can accept, limits on the volume of materials it can process, the possibility of paying a tipping fee for every truck that shows up and the likelihood of an ever present monitor watching its every move?

Or, does he think it more likely that Regus/NIR (or a related company) would rather thumb its nose at the Village and apply for and achieve Federal ‘railroad’ status so it can open a 24 hour a day 7 day a week garbage plant with no local regulations to comply with, no limits on what it can accept, no limits on the volume of materials it can process, no tipping fees payable to the Village and no local monitor? Then, they could even accept cellophane!

Once he addresses that issue, I would like to know if “Frank” thinks dealing with the long term problem of a full time garbage operation trumps worrying about what will surely be a temporary C&D transfer station. Bearing in mind that the long term solution to both problems is the same - taking the property for a sorely needed public use. We can alleviate the shortage of commuter parking in the County at the same time we provide for the long term needs of the DPW and Recreation Department. Sounds like a no brainer to me.

But rather than get involved in solving a real problem faced by our tiny Village, “Frank”, like his kindred spirit Maria Cudequest and her allies, prefers to attack Mrs. Grant and any one who might have the temerity to agree with her.

As to any investigation by the blog management to determine if I am merely Mrs. Grant masquerading under an assumed name, I say bring it on. While flattered to be compared with so dedicated a public servant and long term lover of Croton, alas, we do not even share the same gender, let alone computer!

And so “Frank”, if I may be so bold as to suggest it, why not look at the facts, deal with the issues and offer something constructive to help the Village, rather than continuing on a path of divisiveness and diversion?

And that, my friends, is a Reality Check.

On April 29, 2006 4:40 PM, weewill said:

Poor Frank … it must be just awful to be so suspicious, always thinking the worst of your neighbors, and having to look over your shoulder all the time for someone - anyone - who might be out there to take advantage of you! What a shame.

I can save the blog staff time and effort. Mrs. Grant is not the same person as Reality Check.

Both, Mrs. Grant and Weewill are plenty busy correcting falsehoods posted by uninformed bloggers. It leaves little time to play games with the public.

Georgianna aka Mrs. Grant aka WeeWill

On April 29, 2006 3:36 PM, FrankOnline said:

WEEWILL AND REALITY CHECK SEEM TO BE THE SAME PERSON.

IT WOULD CERTAINLY NOT BE GOOD IF MRS. GRANT IS DELIBERATELY MISLEADING THE PUBLIC BY MAKING MULTIPLE POSTINGS (ONE REPLYING TO THE OTHER) IN AN EFFORT TO STEER PUBLIC OPINION.

PERHAPS THE BLOG STAFF CAN TAKE A LOOK AT THE IP ADDRESSES FOR THESE TWO POSTERS TO SEE IF THEY DO MATCH.

ALSO, THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAIRNESS AND TIMELY PUBLISHING OF MY LETTER.

FRANK

On April 29, 2006 11:51 AM, weewill said:

Reality check, whoever you are, you can speak for me any time. Your points are cogent, well documented and based on real history. You’ve hit the nail on the head as far as the clear and imminent danger presented by NIH/Regus and the STB. We need to do whatever it takes to prevent that eventuality from becoming a reality. And if ED is the only way to insure that, so be it. But we need an expert to understand the complicated history of that site and to responsibly assess the implictions and consequences for the future.

Frank Simpson, whoever you are, don’t try to speak for me. Your out-of-nowhere statement, “My belief is that they desperately want to make a deal, at least thats what their supporters urge them to do.” is completely unsupported anywhere and has absolutely no basis in fact. It’s patently untrue and deserves no comment at all.

Consistent with the landslide election results just a few short months ago, I and the overwhelming plurality of Croton voters have no doubt that Trustees Gallelli, Kane and Wiegman, will “do the right thing for Croton.” They are proven leaders, always have and always will have, the best interests of Croton at heart.

Thank you Reality Check and shame on you Frank Simpson.

Georgianna Grant

On April 29, 2006 11:12 AM, Reality Check said:

Time for another Reality Check.

Lets all take a moment to carefully examine where we, as a Village, are when it comes to the old Metro Enviro property, how we got here and where we are likely to end up.

For a good number of years Metro Enviro operated an unwanted and undesirable, but tolerable, facility down along the railroad tracks. Exactly what threat they posed to our health and well being I have never been quite certain. I, for one, never felt threatened by the illicit processing of cellophane. Nonetheless, due to unending attacks on Mayor Elliott and the Village Board by Maria Cudequest and her miniscule but vocal band, coupled with Metro Enviro’s self inflicted wounds, the operation was shut down.

Untold Village treasure was expended to accomplish that result, while the “I will never negotiate” republican mayor and board members exploited the situation for their personal political gain. The result was a pyhrric victory, for “the Courts giveth and the Courts taketh away”. While a Court has upheld the Village’s right to deny permit renewal to the old operator, another court has now ordered us to issue a similar permit to a new operator.

What a grand victory for Ms. Cudequest, Mr. Rooney, Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Brennan and the Independence party!!!

But let us not take our eye off the ball and fail to recognize the true cost of these past years of courtroom drama. An ongoing and profitable business was forced to close, creating a vacuum at the site. The result is that Regus/NIR has moved in and wants to get a Federal agency (the Surface Transportation Board) to recognize it as a ‘railroad’ so that it may operate an unregulated, uncontrolled and unlimited garbage hauling operation right here in the Village. There is nothing to stop them or someone else from getting that Federal approval. The denial of their first application was on technical grounds and only technical grounds.

So, while they may come to our legally weakened Village for a permit to operate a Metro Enviro style C&D transfer station, mark my words, this is only an interim operation until the necessary Federal rulings can be obtained. Does anyone doubt but that a 24/7 municipal garbage processing plant is more profitable than a tightly controlled C&D transfer station? Especially in the New York area as landfill after landfill is forced to close? Which do you think Regus/NIR really wants to operate?

Might this have happened even if Metro Enviro had been left alone? Possibly. But surely the harassment of that business and its ultimate closure opened the door for the new problem we face.

So let us not lose sight of the real crisis around the corner.

The Village Board has rightfully commenced condemnation proceedings to acquire the property for sorely needed public use. After all, the entire Village has only 4.8 square miles of above water land, and space for public use if hard to come by. The Weigman, Kane, Gallelli majority was equally right in insisting that any eminent domain proceeding be handled thoughtfully and with care by an experienced specialist. Under their wise stewardship, the Village is taking steps to do just that.

So let us not get all bent out of shape about a permit for Regus/NIR to restart what will surely be a temporary C&D transfer station. Lets keep our eye on the 10,000 pound gorilla in the room and make sure that we provide for the future of the Village and its needs for space while, at the same time, we protect ourselves from a lifetime of garbage, stench, vermin and trucks.

And that, my friends, is a Reality Check.

On April 29, 2006 12:42 AM, Just The Facts said:

I really think that you ought to get your facts straight and consider the duties of trustees before you start engaging in this thoughtless dribble.

Exactly what supporters have urged these board members to let Regus open back up? Who the heck are you talking about? I don’t think there is a single sole in Croton who if given the choice would prefer to have a waste transfer operation located in our village.

As far as keeping their cards close to the vest goes, what exactly would you propose these board members state? Should they publicly say BEFORE the matter is even before the board that they would categorically object and deny a permit to any person under any circumstance and in any situation? Of course not, as this would enable Regus to go back to the Judge and argue that the board is being unreasonable and not following the clear text of the decision.

Mr. Simpson, I urge you to consider that things can not always be said and acted upon in a knee jerk fashion. As satisfying as it may be to hear the board members state their opinion on specific matters that may come before them in the future, you really should realize that such actions are far from prudent in the long run. One only need look at some of the idiotic things that Mayor Schmidt and Trustee Brennan have said regarding ED — trust me Regus’ lawyers are keeping track of some of these real blunders and they will come back to haunt us as a village when and if a ED action takes place.



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