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An Out-of-Control Richard Pellicci Rages Over "Listening Session"

June 21, 2006

Download this video clip to your video iPod (how to guide).

The evening started peaceably enough. It was only as a shadow of her former contentious self that the long-unseen email newsletter maven and former anti-Elliott administration activist Maria Cudequest (search) made a detailed presentation Monday night at the June 19, 2006, board of trustees meeting. The first of a CCC1 gang of four, she appeared at the podium during what is labeled “Citizen Participation” (see: video of entire meeting). At a heated executive session prior to the meeting and out of the view of the public, the board, in consensus and on the advice of counsel, decided to pursue two tracks in trying to find a solution to the 8-year-old Metro Enviro conflict, an ongoing hassle Mayor Schmidt characterized as “perplexing.”

The first of the two tracks involves filing a petition with the Surface Transportation Board in Washington, the successor to the Interstate Commerce Commission, urging them to rule that Buffalo Southern Operating Railroad, which is pursuing a loophole that would grant it exemption from local and county laws. is illegally operating in Croton. The second track gives Village Manager Rick Herbek authority to invite Regus Industries CEO Andreas Gruson to meet with the Board of Trustees and Village Counsel for what is described as a “listening session,” although it was unclear who would do the talking and who would do the listening.

Weighing in first with her reaction was Maria Cudequest with a fistful of federal indictments and clippings about a group of individuals in the waste management industry to issue dire warnings about what is to come.

She was followed by Robert Wintermeier (search), who—despite being discouraged by the mayor because it is no longer an option for the village—insisted on delivering a lengthy monologue about the Village’s purpose in pursuing eminent domain.

Next, Richard Pellicci (see also: “I’m the Paranoid One in the Bunch…”), in a fit of rage—for the fourth time at a Village Board meeting—singled out Crotonblog and vehemently insisted that the camera operator turn the camera away from him. He then shouted at the three Democratic trustees and demanded answers to his questions, attacked and threatened Trustee Leo Wiegman with veiled but unspecified consequences for “smirking” at him before finally apologizing to spectators for his indecorous rant.

Bringing up the rear and reiterating her party’s longstanding “we don’t negotiate with anyone” stance was Croton Republican Vice Chairwomen and author* Susan Konig, a self-described “family person” who knows a lot of people. Despite the decision arrived at by consensus, she urged the board to follow her party’s and Mayor Dr. Schmidt’s stonewalling policies.

At last night’s meeting, Mr. Pellicci made much of his “contributions” to beautifying Croton “crawling aound on my hands and knees” making plantings (see: “Croton Residents Form Group to Decorate Outdoors”). Crotonblog would remind Mr. Pellicci that, as Christ said, “The good deed done in public is its own reward.”

The John Barrymore Award for the evening’s overly dramatic, attention-getting, scenery-chewing performance must be given to Mr. Pellicci. The inevitable questions this incident raises are: Can Mr. Pellicci top this performance at the next Village Board meeting? Will he drop his trousers to make a point? And what does Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt intend to do about such irrational outbursts—besides sitting impassively through them as he has done without reminding Mr. Pellicci that he is out of order or having him ejected?

Crotonblog would remind the Mayor that Village Board meetings no longer take place within the confines of the Municipal Building. The world is watching now, Mr. Mayor, including persons who may be contemplating buying a house in Croton and who might be dissuaded by what they see going on in Croton on the Internet.

Video transcript:

Richard Pellicci: “Richard Pellicci, 65 Radnor. Sorry, I wasn’t going to speak tonight, that’s why I look like this. Mayor Schmidt, could you repeat what you said? I’m not clear what you said in the beginning. Can you repeat it? Please?”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Sure. There are basically two tracks that the village will be pursuing. Track one is to file a complaint with the STB. Ah, and our complaint will be that BSOR is an illegal operation at this time, alright, and seek to have that ah, their ability to operate there you know, stopped or to continue with the STB to see where we can get with that. And that by a vote of 3-2, um, the board basically authorized Mr. Herbek and Mr. Gerrard to ah, have a listening session with Andreas Gruson, the ah, Regus Industry, he’s the CEO of Regus Industries. Ah, um, to talk to them and see ah, what they have on the table. Ah, they are not authorized at this time to enter into any um, agreement. They are authorized to listen to what they have to offer.”

Richard Pellicci: “What could they possibly offer us?

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “That is what we will find out.”

Richard Pellicci: “And I suppose, you know, I’m surprised that the vote is Gallelli, Kane and Wiegman that authorized that. Correct? Would one of you like to answer me please?

Trustee Leo Wiegman: “I think that I would like to tell the mayor that, I think that if there was a vote taken, I didn’t cast a ballot. There was no vote taken.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “There was no vote taken.”

Trustee Charlie Kane: “There was no vote.”

Trustee Leo Wiegman: “I don’t know why you sat there was.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “It was indicated by a consensus that that’s what we were doing. So.”

Richard Pellicci: “Oh, so there was no vote taken so it’s not going to happen then.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “No, it’s happening.”

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “There was a consensus.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “It’s a consensus to move forward on those two tracks.”

Richard Pellicci: “What, what. You know, I am so, you know eight years of my life. I’m, it’s been the last two weekends I’m crawling around my hand and knees in this village weeding plots around this place to make it presentable and you three are going to welcome garbage back in. I know you are. Why don’t you just tell the public, fess up to— Get, get, get that camera off of me. I do not want to be on that idiotic blog. Put it on them. I’m serious. Answer me! What is going on? Ms. Gallelli please answer me!

Trustee Ann Gallelli: “This is an opportunity for citizens to talk to the board and we are listening. I have nothing further to say. The mayor stated exactly what happened—excepts there was no formal vote.”

Richard Pellicci: “Well, well Rick. What are you going to talk to them about?”

Village Manager Rick Herbek: “Ah, as the mayor indicated—it’s a listening session and—“

Richard Pellicci: “Why would anyone listen to them? Listen to them about what? That they want to bring garbage into Croton?

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “Rich, there was a consensus. A 3-2 consensus that—“

Richard Pellicci: “Well and I that a wonder who the 3-2 was. Why don’t you just say who it was? ”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “There was a 3-2 consensus that Regus—“

Richard Pellicci: “Do you find it funny Leo?”

Trustee Thomas Brennan: “—that Andreas Gruson would be welcomed in to talk with Mr. Gerrard and Rick and there was a consensus by the majority of the board that listening to their options could be viable moving forward. I didn’t happen to agree with it—“

Richard Pellicci: “Moving backwards.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “It, its what the consensus of the board is at this time and that’s—“

Richard Pellicci: “Isn’t that just peachy. You find it funny Leo, don’t you? Whay are you always laughing?”

Trustee Leo Wiegman: “I’m listening Richard.”

Richard Pellicci: “You know, if, if you know we’ve been fighting this for eight years and if you think that we’re going away, you are oh so wrong. I am telling you. Because it, its just not gonna happen. I am telling you its just not gonna happen in this village again. You may have the vote, but if I have to go walking around this village and knock on every door again and get signatures again—its gonna happen. Leo. I’m telling you. You smirk one more time. I’m serious. Stop with the smirking.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “Okay.”

Richard Pellicci: “I’m sorry. My temper just got the best of me tonight.”

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “I, I, I would hope that we could all keep calm—“

Richard Pellicci: “It’s very difficult. Eight years [crosstalk]—“

Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: “—and I know the frustration with all of this but ah, ah we need to maintain some degree of calm.”

* Text corrected here

On June 26, 2006 4:15 PM, weewill said:

Whoa — slow down closeobserver! You’re showing your true colors and being not only mean and nasty, but as irrational as Pellicci was.

First, since when and by whose definition is rude and insulting behaviour “well within the norm for Westchester.” Rude and insulting behaviour is not within the norm anywhere. It’s completely and totally out of line.

Second - there is not one single person in this village that’s “trying to stick garbage back at this site.” It can’t be “stuck back” because it never was there. In addition, this village and its past and present officials have fought long and hard to see that it never happened or happens.

And third, your assumption “there will be no objection” is childish and vengeful. A C&D operation belongs in just such an indsutrial site, between a railroad yard and a super highway - - never in a residential neighborhood.

On June 26, 2006 2:57 PM, closeobserver said:

After watching the subject clip again, I am amazed that there is even this much discussion of it, particularly that the discussion is over the demeanor of a resident - which was well within the norm for Westchester, BTW - and none over the substance, which is that there is a group of people in local government (Democracts AND Republicans, BTW - ask Pataki which side he’s on) who are trying to stick garbage back at this site despite the fact that the pdople of Croton don’t want it there.

On June 26, 2006 2:45 PM, closeobserver said:

I suggest moving this next door to bojangles home. I assume there will be no objection. After all, trash must go somewhere, correct?

On June 26, 2006 1:26 PM, bojangles said:

It is awful that such angry and nasty remarks come from people living in this sleepy little town. We have every thing good and beautiful at our finger tips yet can be so nasty to each other. It doesn’t fit. Something more than hatred of Metro Enviro and any transfer site in the industrial section of town is at play here. What do you expect to be next to a railroad yard. Construction waste has to go somehwere. Look at all the houses right here in Croton that are putting on huge additions and renovations. It wasn’t all that bad when it was here and if another one comes in so what? I’m all for the authorities to sit down together and work out whatever restrictions on a permit will allow a new business to operate there. I bet most of the taxpayers in Croton do to. We can’t keep spending money on a losing battle. It’s like shoveling sand against the tide and our hard earned dollars are being washed out into the ocean. Settle the differences and stop wasting our money.

On June 22, 2006 5:43 PM, Binford said:

In reading the comments on Mr. Pellicci’s recent performance I was struck by the similarity to the knee-jerk way conservative pundits responded to criticisms of Ann Coulter’s vicious attack on the 9/11 widows. One can agree with someone and still be offended by the way they choose to express themselves. Like Ms. Coulter, Mr. Pellicci went “over the line.” Both deserve to be strongly criticized for the way they tried to make their points. Only those totally blinded by partisan politics would attempt to defend them. Unfortunately, rather than talking about what Mr. Pellicci said, we are talking about how he said it, and how the Blog reported on it.

On June 22, 2006 3:37 PM, weewill said:

I smiled (maybe, like Leo, I “smirked”) reading the recent comments by those who claim NOT to read or lurk on this forum. They certainly provided some comic relief to Mr. Pellicci’s maniacal display of anger at the last board meeting. Jeanine Levinson-Pasquale appears to be guilty of the same offense she accuses the Editors of committing.

Let’s change just a few words and see how it plays out.

Jeanine Levinson-Pasquale you should be ashamed for publishing such filth! Have you ever once had a conversation with him that has lasted over 5 minutes? Do you ever speak to others who disagree with you, or are you just the unemployed spoiled brat daughter of a millionaire who sits at home all day in her Victoria Secret underwear and attacks members of the community who actually DO things? And although I’ve never met you, I have reason to believe the latter most accurately reflects your life………..Grow up and learn how to deal with people! You are the one who is out-of-control here!

And now, let me point out that those of us who know him know him as a really swell, fun-loving, educated and bright guy who has made enormous contributions to this community and our schools. He and his lovely wife have two of the sweetest and most adorable kids around and it’s my hope they don’t read your hateful post on the blog. However, I suspect the kids are as smart as their dad and would immediately see through your shameful attack on a decent guy.

Georgianna Grant

On June 22, 2006 12:29 PM, dors said:

So, Miss Jeanine, are you cowardly and weak also? If the Crotonblog is for the like then you are the same. I love the Crotonblog! I love reading the comments of my fellow Crotonites. This blog is informative, witty, and frustrating, all at the same time. I like knowing the people I live among and reading their ideas, anonymously and otherwise, gives me that insight. There will always be governmental issues that we should know about and I’m sure there are millions of blogs about Bush and the White House (talk about fuel for the fire) but having a local blog gives me the opportunity to look into my own community.

As far as Pellici’s hissy-fit or Konig’s less than successful writing skills I say let’s talk about them. Let’s share opinions and feelings. Nothing like a good go-to-meeting screaming match to clear the air. It’s only when things are taken verbatim and so seriously that people can’t see past their anger that the waters muddy. Keep talking about the issues, keep sharing ideas and keep reading the blog.

On June 22, 2006 12:17 PM, waffels said:

Jeanie(?)……You need to proof read your stuff…who’s angry, stupid and raging here. My “god”……welcome to the club of blogging-screamers…..this is what it’s all about, a great information resource where you can speak your mind. I would love Richard Pellici to air his stuff on this blog. Kind of like Maria Cudaquest did before she got busted for multiple-personality- blogging-sickness….Mr. Pellici chooses to use the camera which he claims to hate and he abuses good people, for all to see and hear which I hate, so there you have it… should get into it more, there are some great conservative blogs where you can beat the crap out of some good honest liberals……I look forward to your response………

On June 22, 2006 11:17 AM, Jeanine said:

I’m totally convinced that he is a very lonely and upset young man who does not have the emotional capability to respectfully disagree with his neighbors. So along comes the blog. A blog is for cowards. A blog is for the weak. A blog allows for anger, stupidity, rage and the like. I’m sorry, but at the end of the day what is this all about? Local politics? I mean — come on people! All you have to do is mention the word “Congress” or the words “White House” to understand that we have problems much larger than who is video streamed and who is not, who yelled the loudest at the most recent board meeting and who kept there trap shut!

You should be ashamed for publishing such filth! Have you ever once had a conversation with Richard Pellicci that has lasted over 5 minutes? Do you ever speak to others who disagree with you? or are you just the unemployed spoiled brat son of a millionaire who sits at home all day in his underwear and attacks members of the community who actually DO things? I have reason to believe the latter most accurately reflects your life… And a quick Google search will show those with enough brain power to turn on a light switch that Susan Konig is an award winning author and speaker as opposed to you who authored a Colitis Cook Book that one review said was “Not very impressive” and another who said “This book was not worth the money.” A bit envious are we? Grow up and learn how to deal with people!

You are the one who is out-of-control here!

Jeanine Levinson-Pasquale

On June 22, 2006 10:23 AM, waffels said:

“closeobserver”….you need to “observe” a little “closer”..this man is, arrogant, rude, aggressive, obnoxious, mean and just not very neighborly….His coment about crawling around on his hands and knees for this village say’s it all. It’s all about richard Pellici. It’s his opinion and all others be damned. So happily I will express my opinion on this nasty man front and center and I am glad to be anonomous to him and his just as nasty co-hort Cudacuest because I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them. These are big city tactics to get their way and we are a nice small village. The smart rational majority on our village board is doing what is best for this village and not what is best for Richard Pellici, Maria Cudaquest and the Republican Minority.

On June 21, 2006 4:17 PM, Stu said:

It seems to me that regardless of whether you watched the videostreamed segment of Mr. Pellicci on the Village website or on the blog, the irrational and abusive behavior of the speaker is totally unacceptable. It is fine for bloggers to sidetrack to comments about other aspects of the blog article but it is the behavior of a clearly out of control person that is the main issue here. Residents clearly have cause for concern for themselves if they should be so bold as to try to state another opinion from that of Mr. Pellicci. I certainly would be afraid of him. As a result the Trustees and the residents of this village never have an opportunity to listen to anyone else’s views.

On June 21, 2006 3:32 PM, J. Philip said:

Why attack those with whom you disagree?

For the record, Sue Konig is an author, but not of children’s books. If you are going to put a bulls eye on someone’s back, it might be wise to smear accurately.

-Phil Faranda

On June 21, 2006 2:16 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Closeobserver, I watched the whole meeting on video stream and I can’t believe you think that Pellicci’s behavior is acceptable. He was very threatening to Leo Weigman and to Ann Galleli and Charlie Kane. Far be it from me to put words in people’s mouths, but I believe the percived smirking may have been because Leo was embarrassed by Mr. Pellicci. That type of attack is the reason people in this village are so polarized in their political thinking. Where does he think he has the right to speak to anyone like he did?
As for Ms. Koning, I guess being called a Republican now is like being a called a liberal for all those years. Both have become pejorative.

On June 21, 2006 11:42 AM, closeobserver said:

I like this. “Waffels” characterizes Pellici as “loud,” “aggressive” and “ranting,” then seeks divine consent to see Pellici out of town.

Nice. Very nice. Might I suggest de-caf?

On June 21, 2006 11:14 AM, waffels said:

The “we” in Richard Pellici’s fight are maybe four or five very loud, very poitically motivated residents that obtained 700 sigantures out of approximately 7700 village residents and seveal thousand more school district residents. Hardly a majority. Even taking kids into account maybe 15-20% of the concerned citizens in Croton persuaded to sign a petition by some very aggresive tactics. Go for it folks your points are geting tired and I have to believe that the people of this village are tired of the ranting. Let’s hope the board stands their ground and get’s us out of this mess and maybe “god” willing Mr. Pellici may decide to take the 8(+/-) year, 3-400+% profit from his home and move out of here as he has threatened many times before.

On June 21, 2006 10:54 AM, closeobserver said:

The above interpretation of what occurred at the last board meeting is a prime example of why residents should watch an entire meeting on the village website and not a select clip on a blog.

Mr. Pellicci did not “attack” Trustee Wegman, nor is the board meeting with Mr. Gruson. Village staff is. Mrs. Cudequest did not present a “fistful of indictments” but presented general documents on the current investigations into the waste industry, quotations from Leg. Abananti and Walter Mack, and Ohio paperwork concerning Regus from the authorities there. Nor is Susan Konig the vice chairwoman of the Croton Republicans.

The blog claims that the world is watching now and that this makes an unwelcoming view of our village. I remind the blog staff that they have threatened residents, allowed people to be falsely accused of theft while doing so anonymously, has tried to hurt people’s incomes by claiming that they are operating illegal home businesses when they are not, has used false titles on their pieces like “From the desk of Mayor Schmidt” and “Wintermeier utters the N word”, and has printed addresses of people they dont like. The blog’s pictorial of all the business for rent in the village also cost a landloard a tenant. That tenant saw all the for rent signs and thought the village was a bad a place for a business.

The blog should also stop quoting Christ and the bible. It just looks weird.

For the record, I like Leo but he does have a bad habit of smiling and smirking when he doesnt like a speaker. He really needs to work on that. It is very annoying. There is also no need to link to Ms Konig’s occupation as a book author in order to hurt sales of her book by identifying her as a Republican. This blog is hurting a lot of people. That’s why so few people post but only lurk here.

So go ahead - attack me now. This seems to be what you guys do best.

On June 21, 2006 10:00 AM, Tom Faranda said:

First off, who is “crotonblog?” Who are the people offering this uhhh, incisive commentary on our village? It seems reasonable to see a name going along with the postings.

Secondly, if you are going to offer personal comments about people, you should get your facts correct. I happen to also “know a lot of people”, including Ms. Konig, who doesn’t write children’s books, but who is an author and a nationally in-demand speaker.

Third, as far as a John Barrymore award, and grandstanding, I think you can perhaps give yourself an awrd - say the Connie Chung award.


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