It really sucks that Croton’s ‘tweens and teens lack a safe and sanctioned place at which to hang out.
What a bummer it is that Trustee Brennan spent nearly the entire length of his term hard at work and only managed to draft a still-unseen survey to establish whether the community wants a community center in Croton.
And if that weren’t bad enough, even as they claimed a shortage of recreational space existed in Croton, the Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC) hurriedly closed the short-lived skate park. Orphaned by lack of sensible planning, it remains an abandoned, fenced-in asphalt plot with skate ramps barely covered with protective blue plastic tarps.
It’s also too bad that the Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt was unable to direct former Trustee James “of Dr. Pepper fame” Steinberg, then serving as liaison to the RAC, to ramrod the creation of a teen recreational facility. After all, it was the Mayor who appointed unsuccessful Republican running mate Steinberg to fill his vacated seat as trustee. And the RAC is dominated by Schmidt supporters and appointees to boot.
To judge from their appearance en masse at the village board meeting on October 3, 2006, and from an open letter published in the October 5, 2006, edition of The Gazette, the RAC has finally had it with the mayor’s stalling tactics and inaction. They figuratively broke out the rubber knives and toy swords and mutinied against their captain. Bravo. Stick it to the man (see video below)!
Their letter says that “renovating the existing space in the municipal building is not in conflict with the community center plans nor is it a waste of funds since that room can be utilized by any number of future occupants when and if a community center comes to fruition.
Community center? How did that elephant get in the room? Croton’s residents still haven’t given such an expensive facility the nod, and other possibilities remain unconsidered.
Yes, how about the firehouse community rooms? Remember those multimillion-dollar bonds of the recent past? Well, you gotta see the rooms… For starters, check the Harmon Engine Company. It is certainly a beautiful facility. As a matter of fact, the community room on the 2nd floor of the Harmon Firehouse is approximately 1,500 square feet and has the capacity to hold 145 people (see pictures below).
That’s right, why hasn’t the Recreation Department looked into the possibility of booking space at the firehouse to meet the needs of their growing clientele? It seems like space at our local firehouses would meet many recreational purposes for young and old residents of the village alike.
And perhaps some of those teens, enjoying the hospitality of a firehouse for the very first time, might get bitten by the “fire bug” and become interested in serving our community as volunteer firefighters.