Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt opened the citizen participation portion of the October 3, 2006, village board meeting with an odd request: namely, that citizens adhere to the 5-minute rule. The 5-minute rule was put in place by former Mayor Robert Elliott in 2004 over Republicans’ protests so as to better manage the time allotted to citizens wishing to address the board.
This was the first time that Dr. Mayor Gregory Schmidt had ever invoked this “dusty old rule” during his tenure as Croton’s Republican mayor.
Enter the enforcer? Not so fast.
Who was the first citizen asked for compliance? None other than the well-known outspoken village scold, Maria Cudequest.
But as the man in charge who surprised everyone by suddenly reviving the old rule, never once during the meeting did he enforce it as a succession of his most loyal supporters ignored his request and blathered on and on. Starting with Maria Cudequest’s “buggy” tirade and ending with Joann Minett’s histrionic meltdown, they both flagrantly ignored their dear mayor. Ms. Cudequest went on for more 10 minutes with her standard take-no-prisoners presentation while Ms. Minett gestured and thrashed about in a redundant tirade that went on for 8 minutes—all without so much as a peep from the obviously cowed mayor.
At the outset, Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt appeared to be finally exercising control over his most loyal and overly vocal constituents. But, alas, he quickly folded and showed himself to be nothing but a paper tiger. No surprise there, folks. Therefore, Crotonblog is again compelled to ask the mayor, “What’s up, Doc?”
See also: Transcript of Joann Minett during her appearance at the village board meeting of October 3, 2006.
Joann Minett: So it is, in fact, Ann Gallelli, Trustee Wiegman, and Trustee Kane that are making these decisions. Is that true?
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: Hey—OK—the decision was; made and that’s all we can tell you at this time.
Joann Minett: Because I know that it was made by the majority of the board—OK—which is Ann Gallelli, Trustee Kane and Trustee Wiegman. Could you tell us why you would consider a negotiation—just the reason why. OK. In 1997, 1300 people came before this board and asked that Metro Enviro not come into Croton and Metro Enviro cam into Croton and those people were ignored. In the year 2004, 900 people signed a petition—900 or more asking you not to go into negotiations and to get rid of— Only three said they wanted them, the Trustees, to go back to the table with their flawed, sorely flawed, deal. No one stated they wanted it here.
The silent majority just isn’t—just doesn’t—work any more. The silent majority—we keep healing about the silent majority. We don’t see them. They don’t come out. They don’t talk. They don’t come here. Who is the silent majority? It’s you three. You three who—you are so into keeping our river safe. What are you putting oat the banks of our river? What would you put at the banks of our river? These people don’t care about you They don’t care about us They don’t care about anybody Obviously, they give the (finger flip) to the courts, to the courts. They turn their back on. Do you think they are going to listen to you—or Croton-on-Hudson ‘Haa’.
Metro Enviro, in statements made by them—made by the crooks, the thieves, the criminals that Watkins brought in—our judge brought in to this village—laughed, “Ha”. “Croton on Hudson—they don’t know anything—they read the first two pages and then it’s over”—right? They’re all gonna laugh when they get here because they are going to be unregulated.
Now you have a 24/7, seven days a week—possibly. Forget the 500 trucks that rumbled all over this village—spewing pollutants out of their stacks—dirtying up our highways—polluting everything—everything around here—it was disgusting. It’s so clean now without those 500 trucks riding all over Croton. They’re gonna come in and they are gonna trash Croton-on Hudosn—they’re gonna trash us. We’re gonna look horrible. We’re gonna look dirty. Nobody’s gonna want to buy houses here. Nobody’s gonna want to come near it. Other communities surrounding Croton on Hudson are gonna be really upset because their communities are gonna get trashed. We’re all gonna be trashed.
These people don’t care about anybody and we’ve heard it—we’ve heard it. There is evidence—there is documents—there is court orders—there is court appearances—there are violations—all the way from here—and you guys just don’t get it, you don’t get it. These people will not cooperate with us no matter what you do and you’re screwing us—the people that live here. We live here—anybody—there surely, surely, will be over 1000 trucks rumbling through Croton—24/7.
Could you imagine—what you’re telling the people on 129? Oh—you know, I live on Warren Road. My house is soooo quiet—it’s beautiful. I’m surrounded by trees. I have no traffic on my little private road—the heck with the people that live in the heart of the village. You are going to trash us and I don’t appreciate it. And I wish that you would stop thinking about dollars we don’t need.
Obviously, people come out the woodwork with dollars. And it amounts to next to nothing when you add it altogether—per house—per owner—it amounts to nothing. The fight is now. The fight can’t stop—you cannot stop it. You have to protect us and if you make any decision and you allow them to come in our village, they are going to ruin us.
You are going to - you’re going to pollute this entire area—on the banks fo the Hudson River. He’s so into green energy. What’s with the two-faced environmental stuff—how could you want, clean river and then ask them to come and live right next to it? How could you do that—whad yah think—whad yah think is gonna happen, Mr. Kane? What do you think will happen?
You think they are going to comply—you think they’re gonna take care fo this area? You really do. Metro Enviro did, didn’t it? 42 violations—even after they were caught they were still doing it—42 violations. That’s “little” Metro Enviro. You’re talking about these people that are gonna come in and take over a rail spur and now call themselves a railroad and get carte blanche. You’re gonna protect us from that? You gotta stop negotiations with these people. You can’t negotiate with them—you can’t even give them the insinuation that you’re gonna negotiate with them. You can’t let them know that. You can’t win against them.
They’re gonna laugh at you and we’re gonna suffer because of you choice—becuae of your choice. So you better STOP wating our money on negotiations and focus on fighting. Those thieves and criminals—they are known—they are federally… These people in Metro Enviro were under federal investigation at the time you gave them Metro Enviro—and the surprisingly part—uh—the surprising part of it is Sam Watkins who is now our—our judge in this village—allowed these thieves and criminals to come in. Didn’t he do his homework.
Well, Maria Cudequest did all the homework for you. Now—none of you up there—Elliott, Grant, Wiegman, Kane—none of them up there knew anything. She brought it all to this table. She brought all that information and it’s all true and fact. So how could you turn your back on fact—and truth—and the notoriety of these people—how could you turn your back ont hat. How could you just say ‘oh, we’re gonna make this all better.’ How could you do that? How—how are you gonna do that?
You have the power—do you have the power to make them comply? Do you really think you have the power to make them compy? The courts don’t.
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: JoAnn. JoAnn.
Joann Minett: I’m sorry.
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: I know.
Joann Minett: I’m frustrated.
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: I know—thank you.
Joann Minett: And I wish that you would care about our community—you don’t—obviously do not care about our community.
Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt: Anyone else at this time?