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Please Light a Candle, Mr. Mayor

July 7, 2006

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The open government long promised by Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt has yet to materialize and see the light of day. A case in point: The stakes are getting higher in the controversy over the fate of the former Metro Enviro property at 1A Croton Point Avenue owned by Greentree Realty, and village residents are still being kept in the dark.

Croton is now engaged in another escalating battle, this time with Regus Industries, to be decided by the Federal Surface Transportation Board. The STB may decide that in order to use the existing former Metro Enviro rail spur, Regus-controlled Northeast Interchange Railroad and its new subleasing partner Buffalo Southern Railway have common carrier status. A common carrier designation would exempt an operator at the Greentree Realty property from certain local, county and state regulations—a privilege enjoyed by other railroads, including Metro North.

But before the axe descends, after a year of being rebuffed by the Republican “no negotiate” Schmidt administration, Regus CEO Andreas Gruson finally was invited, as a result of an unusual village board consensus, to meet with Village Manager Rick Herbek and Special Counsel Mike Gerrard in a “listening session” at the end of June.

The results of that curiously described circumlocution have not been made public. Croton’s economic and fiscal future may very well be riding on what was discussed. So, once again on behalf of the citizens of Croton, Crotonblog is compelled to ask the Mayor, “What’s up, Doc?”

On July 7, 2006 3:32 PM, weewill said:

This time I come to the defense of the Mayor and Board and must defend their lack of details resulting from the recent meeting with representatives of 1A Croton Point Avenue. There are valid and important reasons for a board to sit silently by and quietly take the barbs thrown by perhaps well-meaning but ill-informed people. There are very good reasons not to discuss openly what takes place at these closed door meetings. To do so could expose strategy, future actions or inactions and generally tip off opponents to future plans. This is not productive nor is it responsible.

Hopefully Trustee Brennan, who consistently chastised the former board for their silence and “secretive, closed door meetings” on MetroEnviro issues now understands the need.

It’s certainly not easy to be criticized and accused of doing things behind the backs of Croton residents, but it’s imperative that the board think before it speaks. And it’s critical to follow the advice of our legal team.

Georgianna Grant



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