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Thar She Blows! Trustees set to Vote on Croton Sailing School Contract...

May 15, 2006

Following an “explosion at sea” set off by Recreation Advisory Committee members Joseph Streany and John Giglio during the Village Board meeting held two weeks ago over adoption of the newly revised Croton Sailing School contract (see: “Unhappiness Aboard Croton’s Loveboat”), a rescheduled vote by Trustees is set for tonight Monday, May 15, 2006.

On May 16, 2006 11:40 AM, TeaDrinker said:

After a “calming of the seas”, the Village Board of Trustees unanimously passed last night’s resolution allowing Village Manager Herbek to sign a revised contract with Mr. Jennings of the Croton Sailing School.

Option: Download and watch this video clip of “Thar She Blows! Trustees set to Vote on Croton Sailing School Contract…” from the Village Board meeting on May 15, 2006, in Quicktime format (5:20 min. | 6.5 mb).

Video transcript:

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “We move on to citizen participation on agenda items. I remind you to state your name and address.”

Laura Seitz: “Laura Seitz, 2 Brook Trail, Croton. I want to speak to the resolution that you are going to consider ah, authorizing the Village Manager to sign the agreement with the Croton Sailing School. I’ve had a boat down at Senasqua for forty years. I can’t say enough that is positive about Steve Jennings’ running of the boating facility down there. He is enormously helpful to people trying to get moorings in, trying to get the moorings together, boats that get loose ah, any other problem that you might have—he could be any more helpful. He runs a wonderful sailing school and its an addition to the village—it brings people from all around to learn, sailboats, appreciate the Hudson and ah, in addition he keeps Senasqua clean, organized, well-run and attractive as a park. Ah, I just couldn’t—in many, many years, I don’t think the boating section has ever looked better. It hasn’t for a number of years since he’s been there”.

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “We concur with that. He has done a wonderful job down there and ah, we ah, worked with Steve to make sure that he is going to stay there and ah, we did our best to um, make this a very fair contract. There are many things in the contract and I just want to make clear to the public why we did the review of this contract and part of it was we had recommendations from the Rec. Advisory Board to review this contract because there is certain things in the contract that needed to be cleaned up in terms of operations down there—who was doing what, who’s responsible for what and also um, Mr. Jennings was getting ready to approach us to renew his contract and renew his contract because Mr. Jennings is getting ready to make a very large capital improvement to his fleet and he needed a longer term lease down there so that was part of the ah, discussions with Mr. Jennings and I’m very happy that Mr. Jennings is back here. I think he is very happy with the agreement and um, and we’ve come to a very amicable agreement and we look forward to another—what do we have? Twelve years now? On this contract of you doing a wonderful job down there educating our young and old on ah, how to sail down there. You’ve done a great job and you have brought a great asset to the Hudson River down there and we thank you for that and look forward to working with you. So. Um, anyone else on citizen participation? Nope, we’ll (inaudible) and move on to resolutions.”

Village Manager Rick Herbek: “The first resolution reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the current Croton Sailing School Lease Agreement is due to expire on April 30, 2008; and

WHEREAS, the Village has had many discussions with Steve Jennings, the owner of the Croton Sailing School, regarding an amended lease agreement; and

WHEREAS, a new lease agreement has been drafted commencing as of June 1, 2006 and ending on May 31, 2018,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Village Manager is hereby authorized to sign the Lease Agreement with the Croton Sailing School effective June 1, 2006 May 15, 2006”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “Motions? Thank you Trustee Gallelli. Second by Trustee Brennan. Discussions?”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “I think we have reached a fair conclusion and I’m happy that he is back.”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “(Laughter) He hasn’t left. He never left.”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “No, no I know (crosstalk).”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “He wasn’t going anywhere. No one wanted him to go anywhere.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “I feel that Mr. Jennings’ business is of great value to our residents and he has done a fantastic job of educating our children on the Hudson River and ah, learning how to sail, especially ah, he’s been ah, proactive keeping a lid on things down there. He’s done a great job. Thank you Mr. Jennings.”

Trustee Leo Wiegman: “I think it’s a credit as Charlie, Ann and others have suggested, Greg has suggested, to ah, Mr. Jennings that a number of residents—people I’ve never heard of—came up and spoke very positively about their experience sailing on the Hudson from this location. So.”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “I’m sure you’ve reached many, many people out there from far and wide.”

Trustee Leo Wiegman: “Some of whom didn’t live here originally but now do because of falling in love with the area.”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “Oh, exactly. Exactly.”

Trustee Leo Wiegman: “So, again Mr. Jennings, thank you.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “It’s not unusual for me to go to a meeting some place else in the county—or even outside of the county—and when I say I’m from Croton-on-Hudson, they’ll immediately say that’s where the sailing school is. One of their children or some friend of theirs has participated in it. So, you are known far and wide down the Hudson River.”

Mayor Gregory Schmidt: “Great job. Actually, as a sidebar to our storm water management, all of our boating friends are out there as some of our best environmentalists because they are the ones that see the problems out there in the Hudson River right away and they alert the proper authorities. So again, another part that you do out there. So, with this resolution, all those in favor?”

Collectively: “Aye.”

On May 15, 2006 9:13 PM, weewill said:

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful news. The Village Board last evening unanimously approved a new 12 year contract with Steve Jennings to insure continuation of his Croton Sailing School at our beautiful Senasqua Park.

Thanks to the Village Board and Steve Jennings. The Sailing School is yet one more wonderful and unique operation that makes Croton such an attractive and desirable community.

On May 15, 2006 12:11 PM, weewill said:

Not to worry Mrs. Smith. We’ve been assured the whole board is in agreement with the contract presented for signature and scheduled to be approved this evening. There is no reason for them to bow to pressure from a small advisory committee. It’s refreshing and encouraging to see the board work together and do what they were elected to do. They clearly did so and in good faith arrived at a fair and equitable contract that will continue to be a benefit to both the Croton Sailing School and the village.

Steve Jennings is a great harbor master and has protected and watched over Croton’s interests at our unique Senasqua Park for over 20 years. He has presented and represented Croton’s waterfront in a positive and respectful manner and done a fantastic job of boosting Croton’s image and viability at ever opportunity. He’s instilled a love and respect for the Hudson River with the youth of our commuinity and has been a dedicated protector of our riverfront. Peaceful resolutions to contract negotiations come about by open and candid disucssions between the two parties involved.

To the credit of both Steve Jennings and our village board our very fine relationship with the Croton Sailing School will continue for many years to come.

On May 15, 2006 10:17 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

I urge all residents who enjoy the park at Senasqua to go to the board meeting tonight and tell the trustees and mayor that they should be thanking Steve Jennings for his work over the years as harbormaster, teacher, and caretaker rather than trying to run him out of town as Messrs. Giglio and Streany would have them do.


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